I always found the Apostles in today’s Gospel reading to be rather bold, almost annoyingly so, to ask for such high positions near Jesus when He came into His kingdom.
But when He asked if they really wanted to partake in the chalice He was called to drink, and they said yes, He did not deny them.
It might have been easier for the Apostles to ask to share in the cup Christ would drink from: the cup of suffering, humiliation, and death because they did not fully understand what that meant. We have the burden and benefit of knowing what that cup was and knowing that He conquered death with life.
Our Christian faith is radically uncomfortable and radically upside down. Just as He easily offered the chalice of His suffering to His Apostles who asked for it, He will offer it to you and me if we ask for it.
The beauty of Christ is in the fact that He calls up life from death, gives meaning to our suffering, and invites us into His Resurrection. Our suffering can be yoked to His Passion, and our joy to His life.
When I am frustrated with the circumstances of my life, I tend towards despair. I often need that reminder that if I invite Him into my suffering, He will sit there with me in the messiness of it all. He will also take what is dying and decaying and make it new.
Learn a few unexpected things about today's Saint, Saint James the Apostle, over here.
Jacqueline Skemp is a daughter, sister, wife, and mother who endures living in Minnesota after leaving California for her one true love. She is a contributing author to our children's devotional prayer book, Rise Up. You can find out more about her here.