2nd Wednesday of Lent
It wasnt only James and John, however, who had this problem. The other disciples were angry at them, probably because they also wanted to be where the action was. But Jesus didnt condemn any of them; instead, he took the opportunity to teach them about the nature of his kingdom—whoever wants to follow him must forget about being important in the eyes of the world. The one who wants to be great must learn to be last.
Every year at Lent, we have the opportunity to learn this lesson, too. Its a chance for us to re-focus our gaze on Christ and to sharpen our resolve to no longer live for ourselves but for him. We may come into this season a bit like James and John: wanting to get closer to God and meaning well, but still needing to learn the way of the cross that Jesus walked. Its not bad to want to sit next to Jesus. But if we want to reign with him, we first need to learn how to die with him by turning from sin and embracing his life of trust and obedience to the Father.
At its heart, Lent is not about fasting, saying extra prayers, or doing a bunch of good deeds. These are only the means to the greater end, which is coming into a deeper relationship with Jesus. Jesus fixed his eyes on the cross, and he invites us to do the same. He knows that as we do, untold blessings will flow into our lives: unbounded joy; peace in times of stress; freedom from sins; and best of all, intimacy with Almighty God himself. Who could have ever thought that so much good could come out of a call to die?
meditation from: The Word Among Us