Reading for Tuesday, July 25th, 2017
Reading 1, Second Corinthians 4:7-15
7 But we hold this treasure in pots of earthenware, so that the immensity of the power is God's and not our own.
8 We are subjected to every kind of hardship, but never distressed; we see no way out but we never despair;
9 we are pursued but never cut off; knocked down, but still have some life in us;
11 Indeed, while we are still alive, we are continually being handed over to death, for the sake of Jesus, so that the life of Jesus, too, may be visible in our mortal flesh.
12 In us, then, death is at work; in you, life.
The Word of the Lord.
Responsorial Psalm, Psalms 126:1-2, 2-3, 4-5, 6
Those who sow in tears shall reap rejoicing.
1 [Song of Ascents] When Yahweh brought back Zion's captives we lived in a dream;
2 then our mouths filled with laughter, and our lips with song. Then the nations kept saying, 'What great deeds Yahweh has done for them!'
3 Yes, Yahweh did great deeds for us, and we were overjoyed.
4 Bring back, Yahweh, our people from captivity like torrents in the Negeb!
5 Those who sow in tears sing as they reap.
6 He went off, went off weeping, carrying the seed. He comes back, comes back singing, bringing in his sheaves.
R. Alleluia, alleluia.
I chose you from the world,
to go and bear fruit that will last, says the Lord.
R. Alleluia, alleluia.
Gospel, Matthew 20:20-28
"Not to be served but to serve"
20 Then the mother of Zebedee's sons came with her sons to make a request of him, and bowed low;
21 and he said to her, 'What is it you want?' She said to him, 'Promise that these two sons of mine may sit one at your righthand and the other at your left in your kingdom.'
22 Jesus answered, 'You do not know what you are asking. Can you drink the cup that I am going to drink?' They replied, 'We can.'
23 He said to them, 'Very well; you shall drink my cup, but as for seats at my right hand and my left, these are not mine to grant; they belong to those to whom they have been allotted by my Father.'
24 When the other ten heard this they were indignant with the two brothers.
26 Among you this is not to happen. No; anyone who wants to become great among you must be your servant,
27 and anyone who wants to be first among you must be your slave,
The Gospel of the Lord.
Reflection: A disciple of Jesus must be ready to lay down his or her life - each and every day in the little and big sacrifices required - and even to the point of shedding one's blood if necessary for the sake of Christ and his Gospel. What makes such sacrifice a joy rather than a burden? It is love - the kind of "love which God has poured into our hearts through the Holy Spirit which has been given to us" (Romans 5:5). An early church father summed up Jesus' teaching with the expression: "to serve is to reign with Christ." We share in God's reign by laying down our lives in humble service and love for one another, just as Jesus did for our sake. Are you ready to lay down your life and to serve others as Jesus has taught and modeled for us?
Prayer: "Lord Jesus, make me a servant of love for your kingdom, that I may seek to serve rather than be served. Inflame my heart with love that I may give generously and serve joyfully for your sake." Amen.
Jesus turns authority and power upside down.