Wednesday 16 March 2022: Jeremiah 18:18-20;Psalm 30(31):5-6,14-16; Matthew 20:17-28
It is probable that the two disciples, James and John the sons of Zebedee, approached Jesus with their so naturally human request to share honour in the Kingdom of God, AFTER Jesus had spoken about his own passion that was to come in Jerusalem. Mark, the first Gospel to be written, certainly has the events in that order - today, Matthew reverses the plot and thus lessens the rebuke from Jesus. Some considerable time later, and with the young Church of Christ rapidly growing, perhaps Matthew did not want to undermine the position of James and John who may still have been alive, and if they were are likely to have been of some authority in the church.
Jesus does teach us, and Pope Francis often reminds us, that there are to be no positions of power and authority in the church - not in human terms anyway. Those who want to show others how to be, should be the servants of all. And those who aspire to the top positions of leadership must place themselves in servitude to others. This is so counter-cultural - but so important.