“We carry always in the body the death of Jesus.”
A reading from the second Letter of Saint Paul to the Corinthians (2 Corinthians4:7-15)
Brethren: We have this treasure in earthen vessels, to show that the transcendent power belongs to God and not to us. We are afflicted in every way, but not crushed; perplexed, but not driven to despair; persecuted, but not forsaken; struck down, but not destroyed; always carrying in the body the death of Jesus, so that the life of Jesus may also be manifested in our bodies. For while we live we are always being given up to death for Jesus’ sake, so that the life of Jesus may be manifested in our mortal flesh. So death is at work in us, but life in you. Since we have the same spirit of faith as he had who wrote, “I believed, and so I spoke,” we too believe, and so we speak, knowing that he who raised the Lord Jesus will raise us also with Jesus and bring us with you into his presence. For it is all for your sake, so that as grace extends to more and more people it may increase thanksgiving, to the glory of God.
The word of the Lord.
RESPONSORIAL PSALM Ps126:1-2ab.2cd-3.4-5.6(R.sce5)
R/. Those who are sowing in tears will sing when they reap.
When the Lord brought back the exiles of Sion,
we thought we were dreaming.
Then was our mouth filled with laughter;
on our tongues, songs of joy. R.
Then the nations themselves said,
“What great deeds the Lord worked for them!”
What great deeds the Lord worked for us!
Indeed, we were glad. R.
Bring back our exiles,
O Lord, as streams in the south.
Those who are sowing in tears
will sing when they reap. R.
They go out, they go out, full of tears,
bearing seed for the sowing;
they come back, they come back with a song,
bearing their sheaves. R.
ALLELUIA John 15:16
Alleluia. I chose you from the world that you should go and bear fruit and that your fruit should abide, says the Lord. Alleluia.
“You will drink my chalice.”
A reading from the holy Gospel according to Matthew (Matthew 20:20-28)
At that time: The mother of the sons of Zebedee came up to Jesus, with her sons, and kneeling before him she asked him for something. And he said to her, “What do you want?” She said to him, “Command that these two sons of mine may sit, one at your right hand and one at your left, in your kingdom.” But Jesus answered, “You do not know what you are asking. Are you able to drink the chalice that I am to drink?” They said to him, “We are able.” He said to them, “You will drink my chalice, but to sit at my right hand and at my left is not mine to grant, but it is for those for whom it has been prepared by my Father.” And when the ten heard it, they were indignant at the two brothers. But Jesus called them to him and said, “You know that the rulers of the Gentiles lord it over them, and their great men exercise authority over them. It shall not be so among you; but whoever would be great among you must be your servant, and whoever would be first among you must be your slave; even as the Son of man Name not to be served but to serve, and to give his life as a ransom for many.”
The Gospel of the Lord.
Our Christian life and ministry are a treasure in an earthen vessel. They are full of trials and tribulations; but God’s power is always at work in every believer to sustain and perfect this gift, making it to bear abundant fruit despite the human limitations of those who possess it. Jesus called James alongside his brother John and made them part of his inner circle of Apostles despite their shortcomings. Jesus tried to get them to understand clearly the true concept of Christian leadership which entails humble service of God and fellow men and women without self-interest. Like St Paul, every minister of the Gospel is called to embrace Christ’s suffering and death as a testimony of true leadership that is capable of bringing forth new life in oneself and in others.