2ND CORINTHIANS 4: 7 – 15
Brethren: We have this treasure in earthen vessels, to show that the transcendent power belongs to God and not to us. We are afflicted in every way, but not crushed; perplexed, but not driven to despair; persecuted, but not forsaken; struck down, but not destroyed; always carrying in the body the death of Jesus, so that the life of Jesus may also be manifested in our bodies. For while we live we are always being given up to death for Jesus’ sake, so that the life of Jesus may be manifested in our mortal flesh. So death is at work in us, but life in you. Since we have the same spirit of faith as he had who wrote, “I believed, and so I spoke,” we too believe, and so we speak, knowing that he who raised the Lord Jesus will raise us also with Jesus and bring us with you into his presence. For it is all for your sake, so that as grace extends to more and more people it may increase thanksgiving, to the glory of God.
The Word of the Lord
Psalm 126: 1 – 6 (R.) 5
R/. Those who are sowing in tears will sing when they reap.
When the Lord brought back the exiles of Sion,
we thought we were dreaming.
Then was our mouth filled with laughter;
on our tongues, songs of joy. R/.
Then the nations themselves said,
“What great deeds the Lord worked for them!”
What great deeds the Lord worked for us!
Indeed, we were glad. R/.
Bring back our exiles,
O Lord, as streams in the south.
Those who are sowing in tears
will sing when they reap. R/.
They go out, they go out, full of tears,
bearing seed for the sowing;
they come back, they come back with a song,
bearing their sheaves. R/.
I chose you from the world that you should go and bear fruit and that your fruit should abide, says the Lord.
“You will drink my chalice.”
MATTHEW 20: 20 – 28
At that time: The mother of the sons of Zebedee came up to Jesus, with her sons, and kneeling before him she asked him for something. And he said to her, “What do you want?” She said to him, “Command that these two sons of mine may sit, one at your right hand and one at your left, in your kingdom.” But Jesus answered, “You do not know what you are asking. Are you able to drink the chalice that I am to drink?” They said to him, “We are able.” He said to them, “You will drink my chalice, but to sit at my right hand and at my left is not mine to grant, but it is for those for whom it has been prepared by my Father.” And when the ten heard it, they were indignant at the two brothers. But Jesus called them to him and said, “You know that the rulers of the Gentiles lord it over them, and their great men exercise authority over them. It shall not be so among you; but whoever would be great among you must be your servant, and whoever would be first among you must be your slave; even as the Son of man Name not to be served but to serve, and to give his life as a ransom for many.”
The Gospel of the Lord.
REFLECTION: Christ’s Chalice
July 25, 2022
“Can you drink the chalice that I am going to drink?” They said to him, “We can.” He replied, “My chalice you will indeed drink, but to sit at my right and at my left, this is not mine to give but is for those for whom it has been prepared by my Father.” (Matthew 20:22b-23)
This was a very gentle rebuke by Jesus. The mother of James and John asked Jesus for a favor. She wanted her sons to sit at His right and left in His Kingdom. Jesus gently said, “You do not know what you are asking” and then went on to speak the passage above.
“You do not know what you are asking.” Why did Jesus say this? In part, it’s because the path to glory, that is, the path to sitting at His right and left in the Kingdom, is the path of the Cross. It’s the path of freely embracing the sufferings of the Cross with Jesus. It’s not possible to enter into His glory without first walking with Him through His death.
So He asks these Apostles, “Can you drink the chalice that I am going to drink?” In other words, can you embrace my Cross? Can you embrace my suffering? Can you walk with me through my ultimate sacrifice and participate in that sacrifice by also offering your lives?
The Apostles affirm that they can and, indeed, they eventually do follow Jesus in His sacrifice by giving themselves completely to others.
Can you drink that chalice? Can you willingly accept the Cross in your life? Can you endure hardship, sacrifice and, perhaps, even persecution for being a follower of Jesus? Can you walk with Him through His suffering? If the answer is “Yes,” then you will share in His glory. Perhaps that glory will not be to sit at His right and left, but it will be a glory beyond your wildest imagination. It’s worth it and it’s an invitation that you will never regret accepting.
Lord, I do desire to drink the chalice You drank. I desire to receive Your Precious Body and Blood and in that reception to receive the strength and grace I need to follow You in Your sufferings. As I follow You in Your sufferings, help me also to share in Your glory. Jesus, I trust in You.