“Come, let us strike him.”
A reading from the Book of Jeremiah 18: 18-20
They said, “Come, let us make plots against Jeremiah, for the law shall not perish from the priest, nor counsel from the wise, nor the word from the prophet. Come, let us strike him with the tongue, and let us not heed any of his words.” Give heed to me, O Lord, and listen to my plea. Is evil a recompense for good? Yet they have dug a pit for my life. Remember how I stood before you to speak good for them, to turn away your wrath from them.
The word of the Lord.
RESPONSORIAL PSALM Psalm31:5-6.14.15-16 (R. see17b)
R/. Save me, O Lord, in your merciful love.
Release me from the snare they have hidden,
For you indeed are my refuge.
Into your hands I commend my spirit.
You will redeem me, O Lord, O faithful God. R/.
I have heard the slander of the crowd;
terror all around me,
as they plot together against me,
as they plan to take my life. R/.
But as for me, I trust in you, O Lord;
I say, “You are my God.
My lot is in your hands, deliver me
from the hands of my enemies and those
who pursue me.” R/.
VERSE BEFORE THE GOSPEL John 8:12
Glory and praise to you, O Christ. I am the light of the world, says the Lord; he who follows me will have the light of life. Glory and praise to you, O Christ.
“They will condemn him to death.”
A reading from the holy Gospel according to Matthew 20: 17-28
At that time: As Jesus was going up to Jerusalem, he took the twelve disciples aside, and on the way he said to them, “Behold, we are going up to Jerusalem; and the Son of man will be delivered to the chief priests and scribes, and they will condemn him to death, and deliver him to the Gentiles to be mocked and scourged and crucified, and he will be raised on the third day.” Then the mother of the sons of Zebedee came up to him, 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 came not to be served but to serve, and to give his life as a ransom for many.”
The Gospel of the Lord.
Jesus is going to Jerusalem where he will accomplish his mission. He has been through all the surrounding districts of Jerusalem and especially in his native Galilee whence he began his ministry. He also preached outside of Jewish cities such as the Decapolis, Tyre and Sidon. Everybody comes to know about him. Now it is time for Jerusalem where he will be crucified. And he intimates his disciples about that. Those teachers of the Law and the Pharisees he denounced would be the ones to condemn him and hand him over to foreigners (Roman authorities) for torture and eventual death. But, for the mother of James and John, the opportunity for elevation of her sons had come. So she made the demand that they both sit by his side, one at his left and the other on his right. This is raw ambition. The other disciples were but naturally indignant. However, this provided Jesus the platform to talk about Christian leadership, which he summed up as service. If you are a leader, serve.