Daily Mass Reflections- 5/30
“Then James and John, the sons of Zebedee, came to Jesus and said to him ‘Teacher, we want you to do for us whatever we ask of you’”
It’s certainly no coincidence that this Gospel (Mark 10:32-45) was chosen on the eve of the Visitation of the Blessed Virgin Mary, no doubt to show us the difference between the “my will be done” mindset of James and John in comparison to the “thy will be done” attitude of our Blessed Mother, who in surrendering to the will of God set in motion the chain of events that would change the world.
James and John would of course go on to redeem themselves, fulfilling Jesus’ foreshadowed prophecy in this passage, “drinking from the chalice” that our Lord drank from, shedding their blood and dying for the faith, but they nonetheless serve as a grave reminder of the sin of self-importance and the lie of self-reliance. It’s a slippery slope that leads to overconfidence and eventually blatant arrogance. Just as the Titanic was allegedly unsinkable, a false sense of invincibility will sink us as well.
It was Pope Francis who recently said “Christ leads us to go out from ourselves more and more, to give of ourselves and to serve others.“ James and John, in their misguided demands, sought first to receive. Mary on the other hand, in declaring herself the handmaid of the Lord, sought nothing, instead merely desiring to do God’s will. She was in turn however crowned the Queen of Heaven, reminiscent of Jesus’ promise yesterday when he told Peter that anyone who gave of themselves for the sake of the Gospel would be rewarded 100 fold.