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

Article 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 April 2014
Ecology and Justice:
That governments may foster the protection of creation and the just distribution of natural resources.
Hope for the Sick: That the Risen Lord may fill with hope the hearts of those who are being tested by pain and sickness.



Comments


More Europe

Pope Francis on the Resurrection: Why Do You Seek the Living Among the Dead? Watch

Image of Pope Francis: Today this question is also addressed to us.

By Pope Francis

This week is the week of joy, we celebrate the Resurrection of Jesus. It is a true, profound joy, based on the certainty that Christ is now risen, He is dead no more, but is alive and active in the Church and in the world . This certainty dwells in the hearts of ... continue reading


Pope Francis Easter Vigil Homily: Where is My Galilee? Encountering Jesus Watch

Image of Pope Francis: To return to Galilee means above all to return to that blazing light with which God's grace touched me at the start of the journey. From that flame I can light a fire for today and every day, and bring heat and light to my brothers and sisters. That flame ignites a humble joy, a joy which sorrow and distress cannot dismay, a good, gentle joy.

By Pope Francis

Galilee is the place where they were first called, where everything began! To return there, to return to the place where they were originally called. Jesus had walked along the shores of the lake as the fishermen were casting their nets. He had called them, and ... continue reading


Urbi Et Orbi: Pope Francis Gives Easter Message to the City and the World Watch

Image of The message flows from his entire pontificate of loving service.True and lasting peace comes through reconciliation and love. God is Love. He sent His Only Son to offer all of us the path to peace and the plan of loving salvation.

By Pope Francis

The message which Christians bring to the world is this: Jesus, Love incarnate, died on the cross for our sins, but God the Father raised him and made him the Lord of life and death. In Jesus, love has triumphed over hatred, mercy over sinfulness, goodness over ... continue reading


LOCH NESS MONSTER - FOUND? Amazing new photos appear Watch

Image of Cutting-edge technology may have just added credence to a long-standing legend in Scotland's Loch Ness.

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

Cutting-edge technology may have just added credence to a long-standing legend in Scotland's Loch Ness. A satellite orbiting Earth and using Apple's satellite map app may have provided proof that there's a Nessie to be found in the Scottish Highlands. The ... continue reading


UFO caught on film in England, but it's not a spacecraft... Watch

Image of This mysterious ring lasted for about three minutes in the air before dissipating, according to the eyewitness.

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

A bizarre black ring is baffling experts in England, after it was filmed by a sixteen year old girl in Warwickshire. The ring apparently hung in the sky for three minutes before dissipating. LOS ANGELES, CA (Catholic Online) - Nick Pope, a former adviser to the ... continue reading


Russia continues to devour Ukraine Watch

Image of Russia's Prime Minister, and former president of Russia, Dmitry Medvedev said that Ukraine is on the brink of civil war.

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

Vladimir Putin has continued his land grab in Ukraine, making it ever more apparent that the Russian president wants to reunite the old Soviet republics and from a new Soviet Union, even at the risk of causing a major war. LOS ANGELES, CA (Catholic Online) - Russia ... continue reading


Immune to poison, GIANT rats terrify Great Britain Watch

Image of Nationwide, councils have reported a rise in the number of rats being reported. Birmingham has the highest number of call-outs with 5,100 in the past year.

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

"Rats -- the size of cats" is a lyric in David Bowie's classic rock hymn "Diamond Dogs." It's a terrifying, dystopian vision that unfortunately coming true in Great Britain today, with rodents as large as two feet in length. Even worse, these monster rats have ... continue reading


Pope appoints Lady Margaret Scotford Archer to head Pontifical Academy Watch

Image of Lady Margaret Scotford Archer was born in Grenoside, U.K., and holds a Ph.D. from the University of London. She is currently a professor at l'Ecole Polytechnique Fédérale de Lausanne, Switzerland. She previously taught for many years at the University of Warwick in Great Britain.

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

Lady Margaret Scotford Archer has been appointed by Pope Francis to be President of the Pontifical Academy of Social Sciences." The group consists of scholars dedicated to studying issues in the social sciences in order to offer reflection and advice to the ... continue reading


Dissenting Priest Defies Church of England's Teaching on Marriage, 'Marries' his Homosexual Paramour Watch

Image of An Anglican priest has defied the Church of England's insistence that marriage is between one man and one woman by openly dissenting from the Scripture and Christian tradition and wedding his longtime homosexual companion. The 58-year-old Canon Jeremy Pemberton, a divorced hospital chaplain, wed 51-year-old Laurence Cunnington this past weekend.

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

A practicing homosexual priest has defied the Church of England's ban on homosexual and lesbian clergy marrying by wedding his longtime male homosexual companion. The 58-year-old Canon Jeremy Pemberton, a divorced hospital chaplain, wed his long-term homosexual ... continue reading


Who Am I? Homily of Pope Francis on the Palm Sunday of the Lord's Passion Watch

Image of

By Pope Francis

This week begins with the festive procession with olive branches: all the people welcome Jesus. The children, the young people sing, praising Jesus.But this week proceeds into the mystery of Jesus' death and his resurrection. We've heard the Passion of the Lord. ... 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, Acts 3:11-26
11 Everyone came running towards them in great ... Read More

Psalm, Psalms 8:2, 5, 6-7, 8-9
2 even through the mouths of children, or of babes in ... Read More

Gospel, Luke 24:35-48
35 Then they told their story of what had happened on ... Read More

Saint of the Day

Saint of the Day for April 24th, 2014 Image

St. Fidelis of Sigmaringen
April 24: Franciscan Capuchin martyr. He was born Mark Rey is Sigmaringen, ... 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