Wednesday of the 2nd Week of Lent

Jer 18:18-20; Matt 20:17-28

The Request of James and John

OTHER HOMILY SOURCES:

In today’s gospel, the mother of James and John requested Jesus that they will sit at his right and left hand when he will reign. But Jesus asked them: “Can you drink the cup that I am going to drink?” In other words, can you make a sacrifice to the extent that your life has to be offered because of me?

If we put this in a concrete situation, we can compare Jesus with President Gloria Macapagal Arroyo of the Philippines. Let’s see, a mother asked her to make her two sons as Senate President and Speaker of the House of Congress respectively. But President Arroyo said: “They must undergo a process, that is, go with the campaign period so that people may vote for them. They have to be humiliated and shouted by other voters. They will be elected by the people.”

It is the same for us Christians. We have to undergo sacrifices, tests and humiliations from other in order to attain our goal which is eternal life.

An athlete, before he will receive a gold medal, he has to undergo constant and rigid practice, training and discipline because it unfair for other athletes that even though he lost in the competition, but still, the gold medal is given to him. Just like us, it is unfair for those who are already in heaven or in hell if we are allowed by God to enter heaven and yet our life here on earth is unworthy of it especially that our guiding principle would be: “Eat, drink and be merry because tomorrow you will die.” Well anyway, even if God is a loving God, he is just too, he knows what is due for us to make it fair among us.

If we are aspiring into greatness in some areas, we have to be able to suffer sometimes, put up with pain, whether physical or emotional and overcome obstacles. Great men became great because they were willing to undergo humiliations and make sacrifices to realize their vision. They attained their goals because they were able to endure disappointments along the way.

Just remember this saying: “It was pride that changed angels into devils, it is humility that makes men as angels.” (Bible Diary 2002)

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Buddha was once asked by a woman carrying her dead child, “Restore my son!” “Of course,” answered the Buddha, “but in order to do it, I must have a bit of mustard seed from a house in the village which death has not visited.” By the time the woman had finished her fruitless canvassing of her neighbor’s houses, she was ready to bury her burden.

At times, we cling to the mistaken notion that it is us and not the world that matter. The more we focus our attention to ourselves the more we will narrow our perspective. But the more we concern ourselves with others the wider we stretch our horizon. James and John might not have been aware of the implications of their request. “Can you drink from the cup from which I am to drink?” That might look easy at first glance!  We simply ask for what we really need, otherwise we might ask something we won’t be able to handle. Instead of asking from God, would it not be better if we let God (others) ask from us? (Fr. Joey Misas, SVD Bible Diary 2004)

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There is a legend of a man who got lost in the desert and was dying of thirst. He stumbled on until he came to an abandoned house. Outside the dilapidated, windowless, weather-beaten, deserted shack was a pump. He rushed forward and began pumping furiously but no water came from the well. Then he noticed a small jug with a cork at the top and a note written on the side: “You have to prime the pump with water, my friend. P.S. and fill the jug again before you leave.” He pulled out the cork and saw that the jug was full of water.

Should he pour it down the pump? What if it didn’t work? All of the precious water would be gone. If he drank the water from the jug, he could be sure he would not die of thirst. What a dilemma….

Something told him to follow the advice and choose the risky decision. He proceeded to pour the whole jug of water down the rusty old pump and furiously pumped up and down. Sure enough, the water gushed out! He had all he needed to drink. He filled the jug again, corked it and added his own words beneath the instruction on the jug: “N.B. Believe me, it really works! You have to give it all away before you can get anything back.”

The principle was well stated by the apostle Paul: “He who sows sparingly will also reap sparingly and he who sows bountifully will also reap bountifully,” (2Cor 9:6).

Lesson for today: “To be a good disciple of the Lord means to live our vocation the “S3” way (Triple S):

1.    Student/Learner of the Word

2.    Servant – humble

3.    Steward – Responsible (Fr. Romy M. Castro, SVD Bible Diary 2007)

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February 24, 2016 Wednesday

A story is told of a foreign missionary who went home to visit his ailing mother who eventually died. Upon returning to the mission area in Tanzania he was greeted with lots of “pole” (condolences) by his parishioners. One of them explained that in Africa the dead do not disappear or go away but remain in the community through the children named after them. Later, the missionary was informed that an infant in the village had been baptized bearing the name of the priest’s mother. Then the missionary upon seeing the infant was told: “Your mother wants to greet you.”

Today’s gospel features the story of a mother who approached Jesus on behalf of her sons. She requested the Lord that her sons be given a privileged eternal reward, which was to sit right next to Him. Although many Bible commentaries focus on what Jesus said to the woman, equally relevant would be the concern and the aspirations of the mother for her children. She wanted her children to succeed, and so she demanded a guarantee from Jesus that this would happen.

A mother’s love knows no bounds. It also stays forever in the hearts of children. If there is someone who knows what true sacrifice and success mean, it would be the one who carries a human being in her womb for nine months, goes through the most excruciating of pains to deliver the child, and then raises the child almost without rest at the expense of her own health. This is pure love, and it is manifested through humble service, the kind of service Jesus was talking about when He commented to the mother of the sons of Zebedee, saying: “Whoever wishes to be great among you shall be your servant; whoever wishes to be first among you shall be your slave.”

Like the dead in Africa, mothers do not go away, and their memories of sacrifice live on eternally in our hearts. So too are our acts of humble service which the Lord has taught and shown us. (Fr. Sisoy Cellan, SVD | Kenya Bible Diary 2016)

rveritas-asia.org/index.php/daily-reflection/484-february-24-2016-wednesday

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WEDNESDAY OF THE 2ND WEEK OF LENT (YEAR B) – MATEO 20:17-28. KINSA MAN ANG MAS HALANGDON, ANG GISILBIHAN O ANG NAGSILBI? Sa mata sa kalibotan, ang gisilbihan mao ang agalon, ang pangulo, o ang hari. Daghan ang nagtinguha nga mahimong dakong tawo aron maoy hangdon ug alagaran sa katawhan. Apan, lahi ang panan-aw sa Ginoo kabahin niini. Sa mga tinun-an nga nag-ambisyon sa labing halangdong pwesto, si Hesus nag-ingon: “Si bisan kinsa ang buot mahimong dako diha kaninyo magpakahimong inyong alagad.” Nga sa ato pa, ang nagsilbi, dili ang gisilbihan, maoy halangdon para sa Ginoo. Kitang tanan pwede nga mahimong dako tungod kay kada usa adunay katakos sa pag-alagad. Diha sa pagtabang sa uban, kalipay ang atong makaplagan. Sakto si Mahatma Gandhi sa iyang pag-ingon, “The best way to find yourself is to lose yourself in the service of others.” Posted by Abet Uy

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(English) WHO IS THE MOST HONORABLE in the eyes of the Lord, the one being served, the master or the one who serves? In the eyes of the world, the one who is the master, chief, or king is the most honorable. Many desire to be a great person in order to be honored and being served by the people. However, in the eyes of the Lord about it, it’s different. To the disciples who ambitioned of the most high place and position, Jesus said: “Whoever wants to become great among you shall be your servant.” That is to say, the one who serves was the most honorable for the Lord. We all can be great because each has the ability to serve. In helping others, we find joy. Mahatma Gandhi was right in saying, “The best way to find yourself is to lose yourself in the service of others.”

abetuy.blogspot.com/2015/03/wednesday-of-2nd-week-of-lent-year-b.html

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Tuesday, February 23, 2016

WEDNESDAY OF THE 2ND WEEK OF LENT (YEAR C) – MATEO 20:17-28. KINSA MAN ANG MAS HALANGDON, ANG GISILBIHAN O ANG NAGSILBI? Sa mata sa kalibotan, ang gisilbihan mao ang agalon, ang pangulo, o ang hari. Daghan ang nagtinguha nga mahimong dakong tawo aron maoy hangdon ug alagaran sa katawhan. Apan, lahi ang panan-aw sa Ginoo kabahin niini. Sa mga tinun-an nga nag-ambisyon sa labing halangdong pwesto, si Hesus nag-ingon: “Si bisan kinsa ang buot mahimong dako diha kaninyo magpakahimong inyong alagad.” Nga sa ato pa, ang nagsilbi, dili ang gisilbihan, maoy halangdon para sa Ginoo. Kitang tanan puwede nga mahimong dako tungod kay kada usa adunay katakos sa pag-alagad. Diha sa pagtabang sa uban, kalipay ang atong makaplagan. Sakto si Mahatma Gandhi sa iyang pag-ingon, “The best way to find yourself is to lose yourself in the service of others.” Posted by Abet Uy

abetuy.blogspot.com/2016/02/wednesday-of-2nd-week-in-ordinary-time.html

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Reflection: “Not to be served but to serve.

The gospel is a lesson in discipleship. Discipleship is not about power or authority. To be a disciple of Jesus is to serve. Service is willingness to help and to save. To serve is to imitate the examples of Jesus “who come not be served but to serve,” (v. 28). Jesus offers Himself to us. Jesus suffers to save us.

The mother of the sons of Zebedee has a misguided notion about discipleship. She thought of it as a source of prestige and popularity. There is nothing wrong of aspiring and being to be great, to be number one and to be the first. But here, Jesus clarifies that greatness does not lie in having power or authority but in carrying our tasks and responsibility in spirit of service and with steadfast love. a true disciple of Jesus is not preoccupy with position and titles. He is over concerned about status. He is not over conscious with honors and recognition. He does not dominate, nor control nor lord over them. On the contrary, he serves in total humility. He helps with selfless love.

We are asked to serve. But how do we render service? We might be sometimes like the mother of the sons of Zebedee who is too demanding and overbearing. We might have a wrong concept of service. We must not insist on our rights and privileges. Let us serve with a smile, with dedication and with enthusiasm. Let us not serve only those we like. Let us not serve only when we feel like serving. Let us not serve for reward and compensation. Let us serve in imitation with Jesus who is for all and for all times. Let us serve in example of Jesus that is giving it all and expecting nothing in return.

Story: her brother has a lot of trouble walking. He has to be carried especially after long walks or going uphill or climbing the stairs. She was always there to help carry her brother. One day, after going out for a walk and returning to their house, Andrea again carried her little brother Giuglio on her back. A passerby noticed it and remarked, “Little girl, isn’t that heavy burden for you to carry?”

Andrea looked at him without any sign of tiredness and said with satisfactory smile, “Not at all, sir. He is not a burden. He is my brother.”

Challenges: How do I serve? Is it with joy? Am I grumpy? Is it with eagerness? Or am I half-hearted? Is it out of love or just for rewards? In my service, I will not let people wait nor will I postpone it. I will not show an air of superiority. I will do my best and I will give my best. (Msgr. Ruperto C. Santos STL, Jesus Serves and Saves Us, Makati: St. Pauls, 2003: 75-77).

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February 24, 2016

REFLECTION: Even to the very end of his life, Jesus was completely misunderstood. This is made perfectly clear in today’s gospel reading. This reading presents Jesus as explaining to the Twelve his coming Passion and death in terms which could not have been more graphic and explicit.

Yet, right after this prediction, two of the Twelve ask through the mouth of their mother that they be given important jobs in the coming order of things—as if Jesus was about to be crowned king of Israel! When asked if they are ready to share Jesus’ destiny (drink the same cup), they cockily reply that they can, totally unaware that Jesus’ destiny will involve a shameful public execution.

Meanwhile the other ten get angry at James and John. They, two, have understood nothing of Jesus’ dire prediction about his imminent death, a death on a cross. They want to have big jobs, too, in the new order of things.

How Jesus must have felt at a loss when confronted with such a wrong understanding of everything he has been trying to teach these obtuse disciples of his! So now he dots the i’s and crosses the t’s. A real follower of his must be “the servant of all.” Nothing above that.

CLARETIAN COMMUNICATIONS FOUNDATION, INC.

8 Mayumi Street, U.P. Village, Diliman, 1101 Quezon City, Philippines

Tel.: (02) 921-3984, 922-9806 • Fax: (02) 921-6205

schoolofthewordonline.com/scriptural-library/daily-gospel/english/item/3453-february-24-2016

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See Today’s Readings:  Year I,   Year II

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