Today’s Gospel reading (Mk 10:32-45) has Jesus taking aside the Twelve Apostles where He tells them of His imminent Passion, death, and Resurrection as they make their way to Jerusalem. James and John immediately ask if they can sit on either side of Jesus in His glory. Jesus tells them that it is not up to Him to grant them these places of honor, but they will drink His chalice and be baptized with Him. The other ten are indignant at the request of the two which causes Jesus to tell them that they are to serve all others just as He already has and will do to the ultimate degree in ransoming His life.
What does Jesus wish for us? Eternal life with Him! So the sons of Zebedee, it seems, were not so wrong in asking for this special favor of Jesus. Shouldn’t we want to be next to Jesus for eternity? The problem with the other Apostles is that, instead of being upset at what apparently they perceive as the two brothers’ desire to rank ahead of the rest of them, they should have asked for the same as the duo. Jesus later tells His closest friends, “In my Father’s house there are many dwelling places. If there were not, would I have told you that I am going to prepare a place for you?” (Jn 14:2) So there is a beautiful place set aside for them (and us). But how are they to be disposed when asking for favors from the Lord? They (and we) must “be the slave of all.” (v. 44) And what may that entail? Drinking Christ’s “chalice” which He described a few moments earlier as being condemned, handed over, scourged, and killed. Our lesson: “Ask and it will be given to you.” (Mt 7:7) We just might come to realize that the “good gifts” (Mt 7:11) the Lord promises to give to us are meant for preparation for the everlasting joy of heaven. Jesus says, two verses before this passage, that “persecutions” are a prerequisite for “eternal life in the age to come.” (v. 30)
So, what do you wish the Lord to do for you?