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March 16, 2022

Mt 20: 17-28

He took the twelve disciples aside by themselves, and said to them on the way, “See, we are going up to Jerusalem, and the Son of Man will be handed over to the chief priests and scribes, and they will condemn him to death; then they will hand him over to the Gentiles to be mocked and flogged and crucified; and on the third day he will be raised.”

Then the mother of the sons of Zebedee came to him with her sons, and kneeling before him, she asked a favor of him. And he said to her, “What do you want?” She said to him, “Declare that these two sons of mine will sit, one at your right hand and one at your left, in your kingdom.” 

But Jesus answered, “You do not know what you are asking. Are you able to drink the cup that I am about to drink?” They said to him, “We are able.” He said to them, “You will indeed drink my cup, but to sit at my right hand and at my left, this is not mine to grant, but it is for those for whom it has been prepared by my Father.” 

When the ten heard it, they were angry with the two brothers. But Jesus called them to him and said, “You know that the rulers of the Gentiles lord it over them, and their great ones are tyrants over them. It will not be so among you; but whoever wishes to be great among you must be your servant, and whoever wishes to be first among you must be your slave; just as the Son of Man came not to be served but to serve, and to give his life a ransom for many.”

New Revised Standard Version, copyright 1989, by the National Council of the Churches of Christ in the United States of America. Used by permission. All rights reserved. USCCB approved. 

Power Through Service

Can you think of any leaders, people in your personal or professional life, who might have the qualities of a tyrant? What is it like to be in relationship with them? Are they people you enjoy spending time with? Do they inspire you to follow? Do you desire to emulate their behavior? If you’re like me, you might respond to this last question, “Of course not!” 

Unfortunately, the reality is, humans are often caught up in the dynamics of power. Roughly three-quarters of today’s Gospel passage is about people demonstrating their power, using violence to hold onto power, using manipulation to seek power, or the chaos that ensues when people try to grab power. Jesus is familiar with, and names, the dynamics of the power play. But he calls his disciples to a different way: “It will not be so among you; but whoever wishes to be great among you must be your servant.”  

I can only imagine that this was startling to the disciples. Not only did Jesus call out the disciples’ poor behavior, but he called them towards service. This description of power is so different from that of a tyrant. Jesus seems to invite the disciples to see power as acknowledging the worthiness of another… that they are deserving of care… AND to invite the disciples to acknowledge that they have talents that can be freely given away. To be powerful is to be a blessing to others. Can you demonstrate this kind of power today? 

Laura Gilmartin Hancock is finishing her formation in the Seminars in Ignatian Formation with the Midwest Province of Jesuits and ministers as a spiritual care provider with Soulcare MKE LLC.

 

 

Prayer 

A Prayer to the Creator 

Lord, Father of our human family,
you created all human beings equal in dignity:
pour forth into our hearts a fraternal spirit
and inspire in us a dream of renewed encounter,
dialogue, justice, and peace.
Move us to create healthier societies
and a more dignified world,
a world without hunger, poverty, violence and war. 

May our hearts be open
to all the peoples and nations of the earth.
May we recognize the goodness and beauty
that you have sown in each of us,
and thus forge bonds of unity, common projects,
and shared dreams. Amen. 

Pope Francis, Fratelli Tutti: On Fraternity and Social Friendship


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March 16, 2022

Mt 20: 17-28

He took the twelve disciples aside by themselves, and said to them on the way, “See, we are going up to Jerusalem, and the Son of Man will be handed over to the chief priests and scribes, and they will condemn him to death; then they will hand him over to the Gentiles to be mocked and flogged and crucified; and on the third day he will be raised.”

Then the mother of the sons of Zebedee came to him with her sons, and kneeling before him, she asked a favor of him. And he said to her, “What do you want?” She said to him, “Declare that these two sons of mine will sit, one at your right hand and one at your left, in your kingdom.” 

But Jesus answered, “You do not know what you are asking. Are you able to drink the cup that I am about to drink?” They said to him, “We are able.” He said to them, “You will indeed drink my cup, but to sit at my right hand and at my left, this is not mine to grant, but it is for those for whom it has been prepared by my Father.” 

When the ten heard it, they were angry with the two brothers. But Jesus called them to him and said, “You know that the rulers of the Gentiles lord it over them, and their great ones are tyrants over them. It will not be so among you; but whoever wishes to be great among you must be your servant, and whoever wishes to be first among you must be your slave; just as the Son of Man came not to be served but to serve, and to give his life a ransom for many.”

New Revised Standard Version, copyright 1989, by the National Council of the Churches of Christ in the United States of America. Used by permission. All rights reserved. USCCB approved. 

Power Through Service

Can you think of any leaders, people in your personal or professional life, who might have the qualities of a tyrant? What is it like to be in relationship with them? Are they people you enjoy spending time with? Do they inspire you to follow? Do you desire to emulate their behavior? If you’re like me, you might respond to this last question, “Of course not!” 

Unfortunately, the reality is, humans are often caught up in the dynamics of power. Roughly three-quarters of today’s Gospel passage is about people demonstrating their power, using violence to hold onto power, using manipulation to seek power, or the chaos that ensues when people try to grab power. Jesus is familiar with, and names, the dynamics of the power play. But he calls his disciples to a different way: “It will not be so among you; but whoever wishes to be great among you must be your servant.”  

I can only imagine that this was startling to the disciples. Not only did Jesus call out the disciples’ poor behavior, but he called them towards service. This description of power is so different from that of a tyrant. Jesus seems to invite the disciples to see power as acknowledging the worthiness of another… that they are deserving of care… AND to invite the disciples to acknowledge that they have talents that can be freely given away. To be powerful is to be a blessing to others. Can you demonstrate this kind of power today? 

Laura Gilmartin Hancock is finishing her formation in the Seminars in Ignatian Formation with the Midwest Province of Jesuits and ministers as a spiritual care provider with Soulcare MKE LLC.

 

 

Prayer 

A Prayer to the Creator 

Lord, Father of our human family,
you created all human beings equal in dignity:
pour forth into our hearts a fraternal spirit
and inspire in us a dream of renewed encounter,
dialogue, justice, and peace.
Move us to create healthier societies
and a more dignified world,
a world without hunger, poverty, violence and war. 

May our hearts be open
to all the peoples and nations of the earth.
May we recognize the goodness and beauty
that you have sown in each of us,
and thus forge bonds of unity, common projects,
and shared dreams. Amen. 

Pope Francis, Fratelli Tutti: On Fraternity and Social Friendship


Please share the Good Word with your friends!

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