The cup that I drink, you will drink.
It is world mission Sunday today. We are here to evangelize, to bring the good news of Jesus’s life, death and resurrection to everyone. Evangelii Nunitandi outlines the Church’s mission in the world. We will find ways to equip each other for that gospel proclamation. Isaiah 53 is prescient about what Jesus would do in sacrificing himself for love of us. In the first reading we have a snippet of Isaiah’s prophecy:
The LORD was pleased to crush him in infirmity. If he gives his life as an offering for sin, he shall see his descendants in a long life, and the will of the LORD shall be accomplished through him. Because of his affliction he shall see the light in fullness of days; through his suffering, my servant shall justify many, and their guilt he shall bear.
We owed a debt we could not pay; he paid a debt he did not owe. In Philippians 2 we read that Jesus did not claim equality with God, but humbled himself. God, who could make us bow the knee, bows his knee for us. We, on the other hand, often follow the way of the world by criticizing each other and judging each other. That is pride. It is not the humble way with which Jesus approached those whom he met.
In the Gospel today James and John, the sons of Zebedee, ask Jesus to give them a place of honor in his kingdom. Jesus answers them by telling them what will happen to him in Jerusalem. He will be derided and killed – but then rise from the dead. The disciples didn’t understand. Even Peter didn’t understand Jesus’s mission. He invites us, as he was inviting his disciples, into daily self-denial and to see as God sees not as men see. Are we able to drink his cup and be baptized with his baptism; the baptism of humility and service and love?
Let’s allow the grace of the Eucharist to work in our lives, to allow us to be humble, to serve others, and thus find joy. We are invited to surrender our wills to the Father just as Jesus did so that we can witness, with the way we live our lives, to the fact that Jesus is alive in us and spread that good news to others.