One of my favorite things about today’s Gospel is the mother of the sons of Zebedee asking Jesus to give her sons prominent places in his kingdom. There’s a mom for you, willing to take matters into her own hands to make sure her sons have an equal chance, no matter the mutterings of the indignant apostles at the scene. Jesus says it’s his father’s decision, but he also warns all of them that his kingdom won’t be like what has gone before.
For this mom and the apostles and me today, there is a struggle to reconcile life here and Jesus’ kingdom where “whoever wishes to be great among you shall be your servant.” If we are looking for people to help us understand this, we should look at mothers. Not because mothers are like servants – though my own mom did a lot of dishes and picking up after us in her day – but because mothers, as well as fathers, will serve and sacrifice for their children.
Looking back, I can’t even begin to count the number of times my mom put everyone else first. And in the oblivious way of children (and adult children), I’m sure there were countless more times when I didn’t even realize the sacrifices she made, everyday.
While the love of a mother for her children is special, in my everyday life I can emulate my mom in small ways: being generous in spirit and deed, putting others before myself, even smiling instead of complaining.
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