February 28, 2018

Feb. 28

February 28, 2018:  Wednesday, 2nd week, Lent



  • 'Hands' pin:  Into your hands I commend my spirit; in your hands is my destiny (psalm); command that my sons sit at your right and left hand...; the Son will be handed over... (gospel)
  • 'Crucifix' chain:  ...to be crucified (gospel)
  • 'Cups' tie: "Can you drink from my cup?” (gospel)
  • 'Ruler' tie bar: "The rulers of the Gentiles lord it over them" (gospel)
  • Purple suspenders and shirt: Lenten season


Listen
    For gospel

For Psalm 31
Pray for our brothers and sisters in the martyred nation of Syria and for all persecuted Christians.
The Lenten journey is a chance to make a determined effort at conversion and spiritual renewal and reawaken authentic faith.  Love is the style of life that distinguishes the believer.
The Liturgy of the Eucharist begins with the preparation of the gifts of bread and wine, an invitation to offer our own lives completely to the Lord, and receive the grace to live our vocation to grow in holiness and serve the coming of his Kingdom.
Read
Can you drink from the chalice?
(Animate)
  • Jer 18:18-20  “Let's plot against Jeremiah, noting his words to destroy him by his own tongue.”  Heed me, Lord, and listen to my adversaries.  Must good be repaid with evil?  Remember I spoke to you on their behalf to deflect your wrath.
  • Ps 31:5-6, 14-16  "Save me, O Lord, in your kindness."  You'll free me from their snare.  Into your hands I commend my spirit.  They're plotting to take my life, but I trust in you.
  • Mt 20:17-28  Jesus to the Twelve, “The Son of Man will be condemned to death, mocked, scourged, crucified, and raised.”  Mother of Zebedee's sons:  “Command that my sons will sit, one at your right and the other at your left, in your kingdom.”  Jesus / James and John:  “Can you drink the chalice I'm going to drink?” / “We can.” / “You will, but sitting at my side is for those my Father prepared for it.”  Jesus, when the others got indignant:  “Don't be like rulers who make their authority felt.  Whoever wishes to be great among you shall be your servant.  The Son of Man came to serve and to give his life as ransom for many.”
Reflect

  • Creighton:  In today’s gospel, Jesus is again trying to prepare his closest friends for his death, telling them he'll be handed over, condemned, crucified, and raised.  Are they beginning to accept it?  The mother of James and John breaks the silence, disregarding what Jesus said and demanding that her sons have a place beside him; Jesus asks whether they can drink the cup he'll drink then reminds them that his kingdom is one of service, not privileged places.  We are on intimate terms with Jesus. What service is he asking of us today?
  • One Bread, One Body:  "Desire-able":  Jeremiah prophesied the hard message God charged him to deliver; the Israelites responded by deciding to kill him, preferring prophecy from their favorites.  Jeremiah wanted God to punish them, but God didn't.  James and John wanted something from Jesus:   having laid down their lives to follow him, they wanted to rule with him, as he also wanted.  But they also wanted to sit on thrones next to him, and that didn't match God's desire.  The Lord challenges you about your desires that don't match his.  Bring them to him, leave them there, take delight in him alone, and he'll give you your heart's desires.
  • Passionist:  What's your answer to "Can you drink the cup?"  Lord, hold us in your mercy when we turn away in fear, say "let me think about it" but don't, or find it too hard to say yes.  It was hard even for Jesus to drink the cup.  May we die to our pride, greed, and selfishness, and be open to embrace the cross and gain life in the Lord.
  • DailyScripture.net:  "Can you drink Christ's cup?"  Jeremiah's prophecy was at odds with what the people wanted; he met opposition and threats and pleaded with God.  Jesus also met opposition; he prophesied he'd be rejected and crucified.  He called himself "Son of Man," a Messianic title.  Daniel was given a prophetic vision of a "Son of Man" with power to rule on God's behalf.  Isaiah foretold the "Suffering Servant," "God's Chosen One," would atone for sins through his suffering and death, then be raised and establish justice.  Jesus paid for our redemption with his life, then rose; to share in his victory, we need to follow him, renouncing our will for his way of sacrificial love.
Mrs. Zebedee et al.
After Jesus prophesied his death, James and John's mother brought her sons to him and asked him to place them above their fellow disciples.  Jesus tells them they don't understand what they're asking.  When the others hear, they become indignant; Jesus called them all together and told them to serve others.  Authority without love oriented to others' good can become self-serving.  To be great, serve; to be first, become a slave.  Servants had to serve their masters; they had no choice.  But Jesus' model of servanthood is based on choice and freedom:  choice to put others first, freedom to serve them with compassion.  "For freedom Christ set us free....  Be servants of one another."  Jesus, our example, "came not to be served but to serve."  The motivation for servanthood is love, not pride or fear.  Jesus' death to self frees us to offer our lives for him and others.
The Lord Jesus asks us too,  "Can you drink the cup"  of sacrificial service and death to self?  What cup does the Lord have in mind for me:  physical suffering, a routine Christian life of daily sacrifices, disappointments, struggles, and temptations,...?  We share in God’s reign by laying down our lives in humble service of one another....
  • Universalis:  St. Oswald, Benedictine monk, bishop, revived monastic life, celebrated liturgy well, loved the poor.