Introduction: our ninth ‘Lectio Divina’ follows the topic of the previous month, from the same Gospel of Mark 10:32-40. This text is the last prediction of Jesus’ suffering, death and resurrection. Jesus continues to teach his followers of the true discipleship by facing the same fate as he did.
Open our hearts and minds
to understand and see all that
your Son Jesus does and says
to us in our daily life;
do not permit us to harden our hearts.
- Read the Gospel of Mark 10:32-40, read it slowly and listen attentively to the scriptures with the ‘ear of your heart’. What word, sentence or phrase stands out for you?
- Reflect: read the passage again and pay attention of what touches you; why is it meaningful for you. What thought or reflection comes to you.
- Respond: read the passage again but this time respond spontaneously to the word of God. In other words, make a dialogue with God what comes from within you. What gift does this passage lead me to ask for from the Lord?
- Stay with the Word: read the passage a final time and rest in the word. Allow God to speak to you in deep silence. Don’t say anything just listen to God’s words. What is He saying?
- Take now the word, sentence or phase, into your daily life/activity; allow it to become part of you. Always listen to it, reflect on it, pray over it and rest on it as time allows during the day. Then allow the Word lead you action.
Concluding your ‘Lectio Divina’ with the ‘Our Father’…
Introduction: Mark 10:32-40, is the third and the last announcement of the suffering, death and resurrection of Jesus the Christ. In this passage, like in the previous announcements, Mark shows us the incoherence of the disciples, while hearing the terrible suffering of our Lord, they were searching for power and honour. Cynically they even dared to ask Jesus to be sited in his glory, one on his left and the other in his right hand.
Central Message: a) Taking the twelve aside he began to tell them what was going to happen to him. b)‘Master’… ‘we want you to do us a favour’… ‘Allow us to sit one at your right hand and the other at our left in your glory’… c) ‘You don’t know what you are asking’…
- ‘He began to tell them what was going to happen to him’. Again Jesus instructed his disciples the terrible suffering he had to endure and then be put to death. That was the price he had to pay for assuming his mission: the redemption of humankind through his suffering and death on the Cross. He wanted them to understand that a disciple is the one who shares his mission and the same fate as his Master. But they were all terrified and confused that were unable to comprehend what Jesus was talking about; the fear blind them because ‘they saw but they didn’t perceive, they heard but they didn’t listen’. They did not expect and accept that a Messiah could die in such a way; they were still thinking of the glorious Messiah in their own terms: a successful political leader, a powerful liberator etc. After this third announcement of the passion of the Lord and despite being together for some years the disciples showed a lack of understanding of the message and knowledge of his Master.
- ‘Master’ we want you to do us a favour, allow us to sit one at your right hand and the other at our left in your glory’. Although Jesus had already told them that the one who wants to be the greatest is to be a servant of all (MK8:34-36) they continue to ambition the first places in the Kingdom, one at the right and the other at the left of his glory. James and John, like Peter (Mk 10:28-31) expected to be rewarded for following Jesus, in fact, Jesus assured them that they will be reworded a hundred times over houses, brothers, sisters…-not without persecution-. That seemed to be the mentality of the time, the poor and deprived people were expecting someone who could come to alleviate their situation and to make their ends meet. The ambition has proved once again the cause of the disciples’ blindness which Jesus will cure and give a new sight through the Spirit after his resurrection. Only after that they will understand all that Jesus said and did.
- ‘You don’t know what you are asking’ Jesus made very clear that he is not the one to grant what they asked for but only the Father can grant it. What Jesus could offer them was to drink the cup he must drink and be baptised with the baptism he must be baptised, the cup of suffering and the baptism of blood on the cross. He asked his disciples if they were ready to accept his proposal instead of the places of honour. They replied they could without hesitation, but unknowing the meaning of it because later on they will abandon their Master at the hour of his suffering and death as we see it in Mk14:49-50 and 14:66-72. He reminds them again that to be great one must follow his example and be servant (Mk 10:43-44).
The three passion predictions allows to examine ourselves of our discipleship in the light of the contrast between Jesus’ acceptance of rejection and suffering and the disciples’ desire for personal power and glory which blind them and fail to recognise the Messiah, the Servant and the Son of God.
Some questions for our reflexion:
- James and John asked Jesus for two places in his Kingdom, what do you want Jesus do for you?
- Jesus taught his followers the true way to discipleship: a way of servanthood, suffering and death, what way are you following?