Dear Parish Family,
I come from the rural South, and in Tennessee we have a saying that someone “went and got the big head.” In today’s Gospel, the sons of Zebedee done went and got the big head. (Please note, gentle reader, that the act of “done went” compounds the fact of “got” so that “done went and got” is magnitudes worse than simply having “got the big head.”)
But haven’t we all been there at one time or another? Haven’t we all at some point been a little full of ourselves? And haven’t we seen others who are full of themselves? It’s fairly normal to react with indignation at others when they go and (as the saying goes) get the big head; the other ten apostles, Mark tells us, reacted in that way.
Christ, though, seems to react with somewhat more patience and understanding. He warns James and John that they really do not understand what they are asking for and tells them outright it is not His to give.
Let us all pray for the grace to respond a Our Lord responds, not with indignation but with patience. We are called to suffer wrongs with understanding and humility in the manner of Our Lord Jesus Christ. It is easy to be indignant; it is the mark of one on the road to sainthood to respond with patience and understanding to affronts, both real and imagined.