Sunday, October 21, 2018
Today, in Mercy, our readings from Isaiah and Mark sound almost Lenten in tone. Isaiah gives us the image of a broken Jesus, crushed by a “suffering that justifies many”.
Mark recounts the story of the two rather oblivious disciples asking to sit in glory beside Jesus. They do not realize that the path to this glory is through Gethsemane and Calvary.
Jesus asks them the same question he asks us throughout our lives:
“Can you drink the cup that I will drink?”
We know that there are sacrificial cups of many sizes and shapes among us. Just this past week, with the canonization of St. Oscar Romero, we were reminded of the immense sacrifices of Romero and the Salvador people to practice their faith in dignity.
Each of our sufferings and sacrifices may seem so much smaller by comparison. But when they are united with Christ in faith and hope, they too are redemptive.
We will be asked, as Jesus was, to lay down our life.
- It may be in the unselfish raising of a family, or the humble pastoring of a church community.
- It may be in the long-term care of an elderly parent or neighbor.
- It may be in a ministry of healing, teaching, or encouragement where another requires our labor, patience and mercy.
- It may be as a public servant who actually serves, or as a private nurse who tenderly nurses.
- It may be as a community member who builds life by respect, responsibility, and mutuality.
We will come to realize, as did the ambitious sons of Zebedee, that true discipleship is not flash and glam. It is the daily choice to quietly lift the cup we have been given, and raise it to the honor of God – in openness, trust, joy and delight that we are called to share in the life of Christ.
Music: The Cup of Salvation ~Shane & Shane (Lyrics below.)
I love the Lord for He heard my voice
And answered my cry for mercy
Because He listened to me
I will call upon Him as long as I live
What shall I render to the Giver of life and who all things are made
What shall I render to the One who paints the oceans blue
I will lift up a cup of salvation
Call on the Name of the Lord
How do I repay the life that You gave
I’ll call on the Name of the Lord
Lift up a cup, You have already poured
What kind of rendering is found in this taking
Found in this drinking of love
Love so abundant He meets me in depravity
With one thing to give
You have delivered my soul from death
My eyes from tears
My feet from stumbling
And I will walk before the Lord
In the land of the living