Wednesday of the Second Week of Lent

Reading Jeremiah 18:18-20
Gospel Matthew 20:17-28

“My chalice you will indeed drink….”

As does yesterday’s, today’s Gospel passage focuses our attention on the virtue of humility. When Jesus prophesies to James and John “My chalice you will indeed drink”, we may wince, given that we know “the rest of the story”. We know, although James and John don’t, that Jesus’ “chalice” is His sorrowful Passion and Death. These words should provoke true pity in us for what James and John are asking.

However, the meaning of today’s Gospel passage is more than simply, “Be careful what you wish for….” Nor is the meaning limited only to James and John as apostles: Jesus’ words in this verse are for each of His followers, including yourself.

Every one of us, as a Christian, ought to strive to make James and John’s petition our own: not unknowingly—as their mother asked—but knowingly. Knowing that Jesus’ “chalice” is the Cup of Suffering, which collected His own Precious Blood from the Cross, we ask Jesus out of love to let us drink from His chalice. The fruit of this chalice will strengthen us to walk with Jesus on our own ways of the Cross, and through them to eternal life.