For a third time, the Gospel of St. Matthew finds Jesus telling his disciples about his coming death at the hands of the Jewish elders and priests. As he has done before, he also includes a short line to tell them that he will rise again.
The mother of James and John is used as a foil by St. Matthew to reflect the stark reality of Jesus’ prediction. They are nearing Jerusalem. Her thoughts, and perhaps the thoughts of her sons, are centered on the power and glory of which the prophet has spoken at the time that the Messiah enters Jerusalem. Despite the fact that Jesus has tried to dispel these notions, she has failed to take notice.
Power and glory will be the result of Jesus’ entrance into Jerusalem. However, that power and glory will come only when Jesus has died so that God can overthrow the prevailing wisdom that human power and glory is a fit substitute for the power and glory of God. As St. Paul wrote, only when Jesus is brought to the lowest depths did the world come to recognize him as Lord. Before others would bend the knee before him, he had to get down on his knees and wash the feet of his disciples. Before he would be raised to heaven in their sight, he would first be brought to the depths of humiliation through his death on the cross.
Our path to power and glory is through servanthood. When we serve others, then we will have found the real power and glory of God.
Fr. Lawrence Jagdfeld, O.F.M., Administrator