Wednesday of the Eighth Week in Ordinary Time
In an address he prepared for school children a couple years ago, Pope Francis emphasized that magnanimity is one of the principle things that we should learn in school. The pope wrote that to be magnanimous is “to have a big heart, to have a great spirit; it means to have great ideals, the desire to do great things.” The sons of Zebedee had great desires, they wanted to be in positions close to Jesus, and even to drink the bitter cup He would drink. (Mk 10:38-39) Yet, they needed to learn more lessons from their Teacher.
“The Son of Man did not come to be served, but to serve, and to give his life as a ransom for many.” (Mark 10:35) This is the lesson. James and John were right to want to be close to Jesus, and to follow him. They simply had the completely wrong idea about where Jesus would take them. They imagined seats of great power and influence at Jesus’ right hand and his left. Instead, they got to follow their Master and Lord who washed feet, and gave up His life. Today, let us ask the Lord to purify our great desires, so that they may indeed lead us to follow Him, in the ways He will show us.