Jesus endured the cross and now sits at the right of the throne of God. We will reign with him if we persevere with him in suffering and service.
Even the disciples obsess about becoming great; they argue about who is the greatest. And to preempt all discussion and see to their being the greatest, James and John go straight to the Teacher. For they have come to believe that, as a legitimate heir, he will soon sit on David’s throne.
So, it is clear that those who left their father to follow Jesus do not lack ambition. And they seek no less than to sit next to the throne of the Son of Man. That is to say, one at his right and the other at his left.
And Jesus answers them. He makes them understand, in the first place, that they be careful what they wish for. For they may be at the right and at the left not of the throne, but of the cross. They should know what they ask for.
In the second place, Jesus makes clear to the “sons of thunder” another thing that they must keep in mind. Namely, that to be, in a way that they do not hope for, at the left and right is not up to him. For it is up to the dictators who rule the Gentiles
No, the one who only seeks to heal people’s diseases and illnesses prepares no cross for his apostles. He called them right away, —by his initiative and grace, not due to their merits—, so that they might live. And not that they might die.
But one does not gain life if one does not go through death. The last becomes necessary due to those who cannot bear that good is done (Wis 2, 10-12; SV.EN I:75). And the best proof that this is true is Jesus, in his passion, death, resurrection and ascension.
Throne of the Son of Man whom all peoples serve or of the Son of Man who serves?
The one whom we rightly call “Teacher and Lord” sets us an example, yes, so that we do as he. If we follow his example, we will get to be next to his throne.
There is no doubt that he is the Son of Man. But he is the not one whom all nations and peoples of every language serve (Dan 7, 13-14). Rather, he is the one who serves and gives his life as a ransom for all.
We cannot, of course, buy our own ransom or pay a price to God for our life (Ps 49, 8-9). Only he, then, can ransom us. And it is his will that his Suffering Servant lays down his life, —gives up his body and sheds his blood—, as an offering for sin. So then, in place of judgement and punishment (Dan 7, 26), there is salvation. Yes, through the Son of Man who pays the ransom for all.
It is clear, then, Jesus Christ’s throne is that of grace. Of goodness, mercy (SV.EN II:324; SV.EN V:166; SV.EN XI:130). True Christians heed his call and gather around this throne. They are the ones who truly renounce power and do not let cravings to be great divide them.
Lord Jesus, do not let us go near the throne of injustice and oppression that you decry. Grant us to follow your way of glory, that of service and sacrifice.
17 October 2021
29th Sunday in O.T. (B)
Is 53, 10-11; Heb 4, 14-16; Mk 10, 35-45