Jeremiah 18:18-20

18 Then they said, “Come, let us make plots against Jeremiah, for the law shall not perish from the priest, nor counsel from the wise, nor the word from the prophet. Come, let us smite him with the tongue, and let us not heed any of his words.” 19 Give heed to me, O LORD, and hearken to my plea. 20 Is evil a recompense for good? Yet they have dug a pit for my life. Remember how I stood before thee to speak good for them, to turn away thy wrath from them. 

Matthew 20:17-28

17 And as Jesus was going up to Jerusalem, he took the twelve disciples aside, and on the way he said to them, 

18 “Behold, we are going up to Jerusalem; and the Son of man will be delivered to the chief priests and scribes, and they will condemn him to death, 19 and deliver him to the Gentiles to be mocked and scourged and crucified, and he will be raised on the third day.” 

20 Then the mother of the sons of Zebedee came up to him, with her sons, and kneeling before him she asked him for something. 21 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.” 22 But Jesus answered, “You do not know what you are asking. Are you able to drink the cup that I am to drink?” They said to him, “We are able.” 23 He said to them, “You will drink my cup, 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.” 24 And when the ten heard it, they were indignant at the two brothers. 25 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. 26 It shall not be so among you; but whoever would be great among you must be your servant, 27 and whoever would be first among you must be your slave; 28 even as the Son of man came not to be served but to serve, and to give his life as a ransom for many.”


THE FIRST READING summarizes the response of a people whose hearts and minds were closed to the warnings of the prophet Jeremiah that they mend their ways. The people of Israel have become hardened like clay in the potter’s hand such that they could not be reshaped and moulded into a work of art, which necessitated that these vessels of clay-a metaphor for the sinful people-be destroyed! 

Upon hearing these apocalyptic warnings, the people rebelled against Jeremiah and sought to destroy him so as to silence their consciences! 

St MATTHEW’S narrate a climatic occasion that marks the revelation of Christ’s Divinity. Our Lord’s reference to himself as the “Son of man” sheds new light on His mission and the tragic consequences that lie in waiting in Jerusalem, followed by His resurrection. Two of the twelve apostles who came to hear of this future turn of events shared this sensitive information with their mother who saw an opportunity to secure her son’s salvation and future position of authority! The other ten apostles who witnessed this discourse were not impressed by the sons of Zebedee who sought a place of power and position in God’s kingdom. 

We can deduce from this discourse between this ‘caring’ mother and Jesus that you and I cannot “claim” our place in heaven just because of our association with Christ Jesus.Furthermore, our Lord do promise that His apostles will “drink [his] cup,” implying that they will also partake in His suffering and even face martyrdom for the sake of the gospel! Here again we come to understand that suffering and pain can be meritorious acts of God’s grace when it is offered up not only for our salvation, but when we “seek the good of [our] neighbor” (1 Cor 10:24) also. Thus when we partake in the Eucharistic cup of blessings and knaw His flesh,we share in Christ’s suffering, death and resurrection! 1Cor 10:16

Let us pray: Psalms 31:5-6,14-16

5 Into thy hand I commit my spirit; thou hast redeemed me, O LORD, faithful God. 

6 Thou hatest those who pay regard to vain idols; but I trust in the LORD. 14 But I trust in thee, O LORD, I say, “Thou art my God.” 15 My times are in thy hand; deliver me from the hand of my enemies and persecutors! 16 Let thy face shine on thy servant; save me in thy steadfast love!    Henry R SYLVESTER              

Note: The daily scripture readings are taken from the Roman Missal which the Catholic Church use in the daily Celebration of the Holy Eucharist throughout the world.Some readings may differ because of the celebration of local feast days of saints around the world

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