Wednesday 2nd Lent


A Pilgrim's Daily Prayer

Called through the Word to the everlasting journey in the Spirit

from nothingness to union with the One who is the Beginning and the End

Christoph Weigel: A Mother's Request
Biblia ectypa: Bildnussen auss Heiliger Schrifft

Alt und Neuen Testaments
, 1695

Wednesday of the Second Week of Lent: Service of Others


Readings for Mass
First Reading: Jeremiah 18:18-20
Responsorial Psalm: Psalms 31:5-6, 14, 15-16
Gospel: Matthew 20:17-28


“Just as the Son of Man came not to be served but to serve, and to give his life a ransom for many (NRSV,        Mt 20:28).

Let us pray.

 

Father, it is so often the case when we plan our future that there is really nothing new about it at all. We merely take our present situation which is always impoverished when compared to what could be and dream up a future that is just more of the same. Jesus preached the coming of your kingdom and of course we thought of it as just another earthly kingdom, maybe one that might function a bit better than others. What Jesus really preached was a kingdom unlike any other that the world has experienced. It is a kingdom, Father, in which your rule will overcome all evil and everything will be put right. Even death will be finally understood, not as undoing, but as passage to a fuller life.

The wife of Zebedee, the mother of James and John, came to Jesus, Matthew tells us, to seek places of honor for her two sons, that they might sit at the right and the left of Jesus when he would come into his kingdom. Jesus tried to explain that in this kingdom that there would be no places of honor as they are usually thought of. Jesus said that all he had to offer was a cup of suffering. In the coming kingdom there would be no lording it over one another. In the kingdom to come the one who would be great would be the one who would place himself at the service of the others, even as a lackey might do. After all Jesus himself had come not to be served, as one might expect of a king, but to serve and to give his life for the many.

Father, we think we know what a priest is, what sacrifice is, what a kingdom is, what a king is, but Jesus shatters all of our preconceptions and opens up for us a whole new understanding of what it means to be human, a whole new understanding of the future. It is a future, not of self-fulfillment, as we might hope for, but a future of self-denial and service of others.

Help us, Father, to break out of the past, even as it has brought us to the present moment. Open us up to a future of constantly growing, unexpected newness of life in you and of committed service to one another.

Through Christ our Lord. Amen.

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