February 28, 2018
by Diane Jorgensen
Creighton University's School of Pharmacy and Health Professions
click here for photo and information about the writer

Wednesday of the Second Week of Lent
Lectionary: 232

Jeremiah 18:18-20
Psalms 31:5-6, 14, 15-16
Matthew 20:17-28

Praying Lent
Praying Lent for Today

Cooking Lent
Recipes for Ash Wednesday,
all the Fridays of Lent and for Good Friday

The Second Week of Lent - 41 min. - Text Transcript

Whoever wishes to be great among you shall be your servant

In today’s gospel reading, Jesus is again trying to prepare the twelve disciples, his closest friends, for his death. The showdown is coming. He tells them that they will be going to Jerusalem where he will be handed over to the chief priests and religious officials who will condemn him, and then be handed over to the Gentiles for crucifixion, and then be resurrected on the third day. He tried to tell them twice before, but now he lays it out in no uncertain terms. ┬áThe first time Peter admonished him. The second time they were overwhelmed with grief. This time the apostles are speechless. They do not cajole, contradict, confirm their steadfast support, or question his meaning; they are uncharacteristically silent. Is it an awkward silence, where everyone is looking down at their shoes or off into space, not knowing what to say, and the speaker is left feeling naked, exposed and alone? Maybe they were beginning to accept, or even understand, and their silence reflected this wisdom; a silence of “presence.”

In this account (contrast with Mark 10:35), Matthew has the mother of James and John break the silence. Disregarding all that Jesus has just said, she skips ahead to happier times when Jesus will be king, sitting on his throne. She demands that her sons each have a place beside him.

Jesus responds by asking James and John if they can “drink the cup that I will drink?” Can they accept the suffering that will come? He reminds them that his kingdom is not one of privileged places of honor and power, but one of service

This Lent we remember that we also have been invited into Jesus’ inner circle as we accompany him to Jerusalem. We are on intimate terms with him. What do we do with this terrible knowledge? Can we listen in silence or do we skip ahead to Easter? What is our response? What service is being asked of us this day?

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