DURING THE JOURNEY TO JERICHO, Salome, the mother of James and John, came to Jesus with her sons, asking a favor, and Jesus said:
“What dost thou want?”
She asked that He give her sons places at His right and left hand in His kingdom, and Jesus asked:
“Can you drink of the cup which I am about to drink?”
They replied that they could; and He said:
“Of My cup you shall indeed drink; but as for sitting at My right hand and My left, that is not Mine to give you, but it belongs to those for whom it has been prepared by My father.”
The other disciples were angry at James and John, but Jesus called them together and said to them:
“You know that the rulers of the Gentiles lord it over them, and their great men exercise authority over them. Not so is it among you. On the contrary, whoever wishes to become great among you shall be your servant; and whoever wishes to be first among you shall be your slave; even as the Son of Man has not come to be served but to serve, and to give His life as a ransom for many.”
At Jericho, two blind men by the wayside (one of them named Bartimeus) cried out to Jesus for mercy, though the crowd tried to silence them. He stopped and said to them:
“What will you have Me do for you?”
When they asked that their sight be restored, Jesus in compassion touched their eyes, and they recovered their vision and joined His followers.
In the crowd at Jericho was Zacchaeus, a publican. A short man, he could not see Jesus; so he climbed a tree by the wayside to get a better view. As Jesus passed him, He looked up and said:
“Zacchaes, make haste and come down; for I must stay in thy house today.”
The crowd complained that He should accept the hospitality of a public sinner, but Jesus commended Zacchaeus:
“Today salvation has come to this house, since he, too, is a son of Abraham. For the Son of Man came to seek and save what was lost.”
Meditation: How many wish to be with Christ in His glory while avoiding Him in His Passion! We eagerly desire to sit at His banquet table but refuse to drink of His cup of suffering. We long for the happiness of heaven but use every means possible to avoid the only way it can be obtained–through purification by suffering. Am I using the suffering in my life–which is inevitable–to purchase my place in the kingdom of God?
Information from The Life of Christ “Our Lord’s Life with Lesson in His Own Words for Our Life Today” The Catholic Press, Inc. 1959. 187-188. © 1954 edited by Reverend John P. O’Connell, MASTD and Jex Martin, following mainly A Chronological Harmony of the Gospels by Stephen J Hartdegen OFM NIHIL OBSTAT John A McMahon; IMPRIMATUR Samuel Cardinal Stritch, Archbishop of Chicago August 1, 1953. Print. Drawing by Albert H Winkler.