Skip to content
Catholic Online Logo

By Vatican Congregation for the Clergy

10/22/2012 (1 year ago)

Catholic Online (www.catholic.org)

Grant that in your glory we may sit one at your right and the other at your left

The authentic desire for true greatness belongs to man in so much as it is part of each of us and so should not be censured or decreased under the guise of a misguided humility which could result.  Man is made to be great.  St Thomas teaches us that man is "Capex Dei" which means "capable of God" and therefore cannot be content with anything that is inferior to God Himself.

James and John approach Jesus

James and John approach Jesus

Highlights

By Vatican Congregation for the Clergy

Catholic Online (www.catholic.org)

10/22/2012 (1 year ago)

Published in Europe

Keywords: James and John, Zebedees Sons, Sons of Thunder, humility, Vatican, Congregation for the Clergy


VATICAN CITY (Catholic Online) - We are pleased to offer the Congregation for the Clergy's Refective homily from Sunday's Liturgy:

*****

In the homily at the inauguration of his Pontificate, the Holy Father, Pope Benedict XVI, addressed the Church and the entire world, affirming that Christ "takes nothing away, and He gives you everything."  He who can affirm, with Peter, the certainty that Christ takes nothing away and gives you everything has received an inestimable treasure, he has found that 'precious pearl' and that 'hidden treasure' that the Lord speaks of in the Gospel. 

Daily, we implore the gift of grace, and when it comes, it is always welcomed as being ever new.  It is the same gift that moved the first disciples to leave their loved ones and their occupations to follow the Lord.  It is the same gift that the Apostles received and, of which, the pages of this Sunday's Gospel narrate.  

Certainly, Christ does not take anything away from man but, rather, He gives everything.  However, He may deprive him of some of his worldly goods in order to give him the greatest good that is Himself, in Person.  In a certain sense He also does not ever deprive man of evil.  He who is the only Saviour, does not solve our difficulties by eliminating them or substituting them or artificially removing us from the sorrowful circumstances of our lives. 

Certainly, Christ saves man from evil and from death by His Cross.  However, He saves us without sparing us that beneficial great 'fatigue' that comes from our liberty, that healthy fatigue which only death can remove.

The heart often seems heavy with this fatigue and it would long to be liberated from it, yet it quickly turns to the object of its desire with the same impatience that animated James and John in today's Gospel, "Grant that in your glory we may sit one at your right and the other at your left."(Mk10:37) 

With these words the sons of Zebedee seem to ask the Lord to accede to their 'jump' that automatically places them in the first place and would save them the burden of taking the journey.  It is almost as if this journey, with all its unpredictable circumstances, constitutes an objection to the goal and something that the Lord might, after all, save them from.

One might be tempted to share the indignation of the other disciples or to look  at James and John with a little pity, if we consider that the request was just a 'youthful impulse' or a remnant of what St Paul calls the "old man" from which they must despoil themselves.  In any case, even a hasty glance would clearly show that their ideas do not coincide with the Lord's view.

In fact, the Lord does not reproach them for the request that they expressed but helps them to call it by its real name so that He could direct them upon the only right path to happiness.  With extreme delicacy  - the delicacy of He who knows and loves every fibre of our being - Christ calls this desire by name and the sons of Zebedee, and the other Apostles, were moved when He said: "whoever wishes to be great among you.." (Mk10:44) 

In reality, James and John did not desire "greatness" and had acknowledged that if such greatness was possible for man, it could only be achieved next to that exceptional Person with whom they now shared their lives and their day.  If it was possible to be great, it could only be achieved at Christ's side:  "Grant that in your glory we may sit one at your right and the other at your left." 

The authentic desire for true greatness belongs to man in so much as it is part of each of us and so should not be censured or decreased under the guise of a misguided humility which could result.  Man is made to be great.  St Thomas teaches us that man is "Capex Dei" which means "capable of God" and therefore cannot be content with anything that is inferior to God Himself.

How can one face such a desire to be great, without hiding or reducing it?  Above all else by trusting it to Christ because it is He that had made our hearts in this way.  It will be Christ to respond, perhaps unexpectedly, but certainly in a true way helping us to face the circumstances that we would love to escape and which we, consider to be an obstacle in our lives.

In these same concrete circumstances, that Christ did not want to deprive us of, we can enjoy his continuous Presence because He became man in order to face our difficulties for us and with us because: "we have a great high priest who has passed through the heavens, Jesus, the Son of God,  who is unable to sympathize with our weaknesses, but one who has similarly been tested in every way, yet without sin." (Heb 4:15)

We cannot become "servants" of a moralistic contempt for greatness but only for the love of the One who is truly great, Jesus of Nazareth, Lord and Christ who calls us to share His entire life and Kingdom with Him.   Christ has drunk the bitter chalice of the Passion, and so it may also rest on our lips so that we can also take our place alongside Him.

May most Holy Mary, who all generations call Blessed, guide us on the authentic road of greatness.  Amen!

Citations of:
Is 53,10-11: www.clerus.org/bibliaclerusonline/en/9apoutbu.htm
He 4,14-16:     www.clerus.org/bibliaclerusonline/en/9avuuqd.htm
Mc 10,35-45: www.clerus.org/bibliaclerusonline/en/9bweoqj.htm

---


Pope Francis: end world hunger through 'Prayer and Action'


2014 - Distributed by THE NEWS CONSORTIUM

Pope Francis Prayer Intentions for August 2014
Refugees:
That refugees, forced by violence to abandon their homes, may find a generous welcome and the protection of their rights.
Oceania: That Christians in Oceania may joyfully announce the faith to all the people of that region.



Comments


More Europe

Pontifical Council Statement on the Violence in Iraq Watch

Image of Let us therefore unite our voices with that of Pope Francis:

By Vatican Radio

No cause, and certainly no religion, can justify such barbarity. This constitutes an extremely serious offense to humanity and to God who is the Creator, as Pope Francis has often reminded us. VATICAN CITY (Vatican Radio) - The Pontifical Council for Interreligious ... continue reading


British rapper makes 14-year-old girl post sex video online Watch

Image of The girl, who can't be named for legal reasons, accepted a friend request from rapper Logik, whose real name is Kyle Burns.

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

It was a sick incident that highlights what's going on around the eyes and ears of semi-attentive parents. A British rapper who goes under the stage name of "Logik" asked a 14-year-old girl to pose an indecent 60-second video of herself to which he promised ... continue reading


A new tomb may be the burial place of Alexander the Great Watch

Image of This road leads up to a newly discovered tomb which could hold the remains of one of Alexander the Great's generals.

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

Archaeologists in Greece have discovered an immense tomb that they believe may be connected with Alexander the Great, whose conquests stretched from Greece to India. LOS ANGELES, CA (Catholic Online) - This tomb, which dates to around 300 BC, may have held the body ... continue reading


WRITTEN OFF: Debt used by Vatican to finance religious films wiped clean Watch

Image of The Vatican's at-the-time Secretary of State Tarcisio Bertone ordered the investment in Lux Vide SpA. He said the company shared the Holy See's

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

Pope Francis has tried to loosen ties between the Catholic Church and Italy's business and political world. The pontiff considers this longstanding network of relations improper and antithetical to the Church's religious mission. To this end, the Vatican has ... continue reading


Spanish priest stricken with Ebola returned to Europe for treatment; Victims left rotting in streets Watch

Image of Seventy-five-year-old Missionary Miguel Pajares, a Spanish priest has become the first person carrying the deadly Ebola virus to be brought back to Europe for treatment.

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

Seventy-five-year-old Missionary Miguel Pajares, a Spanish priest has become the first person carrying the deadly Ebola virus to be brought back to Europe for treatment. In the meantime, shocking new photographs have emerged showing more victims being dumped in ... continue reading


Pope Francis Teaches on the Beatitudes: Portrait of Jesus and the Path to Happiness Watch

Image of Let us try to recall them and to imprint them, in our hearts. Let's do this: I will say them one after the other and you will repeat them. Agreed? - Pope Francis

By Catholic Online

As Moses stipulated regarding the Covenant with God in accordance with the law received on Sinai, so Jesus, from a hill on the shore of Lake Galilee, gives to his disciples and to the crowd a new teaching that begins with the Beatitudes. Moses gave the Law on ... continue reading


WHAT HAVE WE BECOME: British mom jailed for having sex with 12-year-old son following instructions from boyfriend Watch

Image of The son in question, along with his brother, have been placed in foster care.

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

In an especially revolting example of bad parenting, a 39-year-old British mom has been jailed for having sex with her 12-year-old son . while her partner watched on webcam, telling the mother what to do over headphones. The mother described the act as a "sex ... continue reading


GRUESOME WEAPON: Made from four human pelvises, tool was used to desecrate corpses Watch

Image of Four pelvic bones on a stick were found at the Dutch site, along with bundles of bones, bones bearing marks of cutting and scraping, and crushed skulls.

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

Archaeologists have made a gruesome discovery. The bones of ancient Iron Age warriors around the time of Christ were impaled on wooden stakes in a gruesome religious ritual. Four pelvic bones on a stick were discovered in an archaeological dig in Denmark. ... continue reading


Spiritual Ecumenism: Pope Francis Visits Evangelical/Pentecostal Church in Caserta Italy Watch

Image of Pope Francis took a trip to Caserta, Italy on Monday, June 28, 2014. He visited with a friend named Giovanni Traettino who pastors an evangelical, charismatic/Pentecostal protestant Church.

By Deacon Keith A Fournier

Pope Francis took a trip to Caserta, Italy on Monday, June 28, 2014. He visited with a friend named Giovanni Traettino who pastors an evangelical, charismatic/Pentecostal protestant Church. This friend of Francis oversees the growing evangelical Church of the ... continue reading


France grants asylum to Iraqi Christians as U.S. rebuked for 'silence' Watch

Image of Representative Frank Wolf (R-Va.) said on the House floor,

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

As the genocide of Iraqi Christians continues, the French government now says it is willing to grant asylum to Iraqi Christians. "We are assisting displaced persons who are fleeing the Islamic State's threats and seeking refuge in Kurdistan," Foreign Minister ... continue reading


All Europe News

Newsletters

Newsletter Sign Up icon

Stay up to date with the latest news, information, and special offers

Daily Readings

Reading 1, Ezekiel 37:1-14
1 The hand of Yahweh was on me; he carried me away by ... Read More

Psalm, Psalms 107:2-3, 4-5, 6-7, 8-9
2 So let them say whom Yahweh redeemed, whom he ... Read More

Gospel, Matthew 22:34-40
34 But when the Pharisees heard that he had silenced ... Read More

Saint of the Day

Saint of the Day for August 22nd, 2014 Image

St. Andrew the Scot
August 22: Archdeacon and companion of St. Donatus. Andrew and his sister, ... Read More

Inform, Inspire & Ignite Logo

Find Catholic Online on Facebook and get updates right in your live feed.

Become a fan of Catholic Online on Facebook


Follow Catholic Online on Twitter and get News and Product updates.

Follow us on Twitter