STEP #1: LECTIO / READ
The mother of the sons of Zebedee approached Jesus with her sons
and did him homage, wishing to ask him for something.
He said to her,
“What do you wish?”
She answered him,
“Command that these two sons of mine sit,
one at your right and the other at your left, in your Kingdom.”
Jesus said in reply,
“You do not know what you are asking.
Can you drink the chalice that I am going to drink?”
They said to him, “We can.”
“My chalice you will indeed drink,
but to sit at my right and at my left, this is not mine to give
but is for those for whom it has been prepared by my Father.”
When the ten heard this,
they became indignant at the two brothers.
But Jesus summoned them and said,
“You know that the rulers of the Gentiles lord it over them,
and the great ones make their authority over them felt.
But it shall not be so among you.
Rather, whoever wishes to be great among you shall be your servant;
whoever wishes to be first among you shall be your slave.
Just so, the Son of Man did not come to be served
but to serve and to give his life as a ransom for many.”
STEP #2: MEDITATIO / MEDITATE
Think about the biggest thing you’ve ever asked God for.
I’ve had many conversations before where I know I have to ask someone for a huge favor, and I’m not quite sure how to ask or how to lead up to it. Sometimes we are afraid to ask for those big things because we worry that we might be rejected or that we might not receive the answer we wanted.
As today’s first reading begins, I imagine the mother approaching the Jesus and having a nice, casual conversation, but Jesus knows that there is something more she wants to say. Honestly, I’m amazed by the mother’s fearlessness and boldness in making such a big request for her two sons. Their mother isn’t afraid to ask for something big. She knows her sons were made for greatness and have the potential to be great saints, but she doesn’t realize exactly what she is asking for. To drink from the chalice that Christ drinks means to endure the suffering that Christ would endure. To sit at God’s right and left does not mean that they would get to rule like a typical king or emperor. When he came to earth, Christ did not need to make his authority felt. In fact, he radically redefined what authority looked like. He taught us that the greatest of all is the one who serves and who loves unconditionally without expecting anything in return.
Sometimes we ask big things of God and aren’t always happy with or don’t always expect the answer we receive. While we don’t see the mother’s reaction in today’s reading, I can’t imagine that Jesus’ response is quite what she expected. However, that mother’s sons still became great saints. So when we pray and when we ask God for those big things, we need to realize that God has a plan. Even if we don't receive the answer we hoped for, God is still good. Trust in God and that he will answer your prayers in better ways than you could ever imagine.
STEP #3: ORATIO / PRAY
“What do you wish?”
What is the biggest thing I have asked God for?
Looking back, what are some ways the Lord has answered my prayers in ways I didn’t expect?
How am I a servant leader?
STEP #4: CONTEMPLATIO / CONTEMPLATE
“Lord, hear our prayer.”
“Jesus, I trust in you.”
“And if not, God is still good.”
FOR THE REST OF YOUR DAY...
Think about that big thing that you have asked God for. Keep praying and trust that God hears and will answer your prayers even if it’s not in the way that you expect.
SMARTPHONE LOCK SCREEN
Today's prayer was prepared by Maggie Overbeck.