Wednesday, February 27, 2013

Wednesday of the Second Week of Lent

(Jeremiah 18-20; Matthew 29:17-28)

All people want to be admired.  They do not care to be overlooked, much less disparaged.  Rather, they hope to be respected and perhaps even looked up to.  Parents will want distinction for their children, especially if they have failed to achieve it themselves.  It does not come as a surprise, then, that the mother of James and John tries to procure seats of honor for her two sons in today's gospel.

But it is unfortunate that she chooses this moment to make her request. Jesus has just revealed the tragic course that he will follow: betrayal, false condemnation, severe torture, and cruel execution.  One would hope that he be given support as he walks this gruesome road.  But that is not to come at this point from his apostles.

Their obtuseness, reasserted in the outrage with James and John rather than concern over the prediction of their own misdeed, should make us aware of our own complicity in Jesus' passion.  Many of us have a hard time recognizing our sinfulness.  Like the apostles, we prefer to seek edification in the eyes of others rather than acknowledge our pride, dishonesty, and avarice. Now, seeing the myopia of the apostles, we should confess these faults and others as the sins Jesus died to have forgiven.