While Jesus was going up to Jerusalem, 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.
In today’s Gospel reading, we find the disciples once again struggling to grasp the message of Jesus. He reminds them that the kingdom of God upends a worldly understanding of leadership—where one person lords power over others. “It will not be so among you”, Jesus tells his disciples.
I consider the areas in my own life where I have resisted Jesus’ example and vision of servant leadership. As a parent, especially, I have failed in this realm, and my children could provide a long list of examples. We humans do find it difficult to grasp the simple fact that it’s just not about us. In the kingdom of God, to lead is to serve. Greatness is defined by selflessness, rather than by power, prestige, or privilege.
Could others discern this truth about the kingdom of God by the example of my own life?
—Kristi Gonsalves-McCabe is the Chief of Staff in the Office of the Provost at Regis University.
Transform my mind, my heart, my whole life, that I may live your vision of a just world. Help me to glorify you in all that I do.
—Kristi Gonsalves-McCabePlease share the Good Word with your friends!