St. Augustine of Canterbury Parish

Theme:

“But to sit at my right hand or at my left is not mine to grant,

but it is for those for whom it has been prepared.” (Mark 10:40)

Introduction:

Have we always achieved our goals without any painful work? Have we always been

successful without any suffering? Have we obtained some glory without going through

moments of anguish? At the threshold of the glory of Jesus Christ, James and John

wanted Jesus Christ to reassure them that they will be awarded a place at both his right

and left hands in his glory:

 

“James and John, the sons of Zebedee,

came forward to Jesus and said to him,

‘Teacher, we want you to do for us whatever we ask of you.’

And Jesus said to them,

‘What is it you want me to do for you?’

And they said to him,

‘Grant us to sit, one at your right hand

and one at your left, in your glory.’” (Mark 10:35-37)

When James and John petitioned Jesus to allow them to sit one at his right, and the other

at his left, the two brothers intended to be nearest to Jesus in his glory. The two brothers

probably were not aware that only God awards a place in his glory. In order to have a

place in the glory of God, one must first be immersed (baptized) in the mystery of the

suffering of the son of God, and then rely on God to award a place in his glory: “But to

sit at my right hand or at my left is not mine to grant,

but it is for those for whom it has been prepared” (Mark 10:40).

To be immersed or baptized into the mystery of the suffering of Christ required that we

participated totally and entirely in the works of God. There is no place for shallow or

partial participation in the works of God if we want to participate eventually in the total

and complete glory of God, as well as what God has prepared for us:

“But Jesus said to them,

‘You do not know what you are asking.

Are you able to drink the cup that I drink,

or be baptized with the baptism that I am baptized with?’

They replied, ‘We are able.’

Then Jesus said to them,

‘The cup that I drink you will drink;

and with the baptism with which I am baptized,

you will be baptized;

 

but to sit at my right hand or at my left is not mine to grant,

but it is for those for whom it has been prepared.’” (Mark 10:35-40)

It looks like sometimes, we just want to offer a partial participation in the works of God

in return for a total glory of God. Sometimes, we just want to be half-hearted with the

works of God but receive a whole-hearted glory of God. The glory of God requires a full

and thorough participation in the works of God without becoming indignant and power-

centred:

 

“When the ten heard this,

they began to be angry with James and John.

So Jesus called them and said to them,

‘You know that among the Gentiles

those whom they recognize as their rulers lord it over them,

and their great ones are tyrants over them.

But it is not so among you;

whoever wishes to become great among you must be your servant,

and whoever wishes to be first among you must be slave of all.

For the Son of Man came not to be served but to serve,

and to give his life as a ransom for many.’” (Mark 10:41-45)

To gain a place in the glory of God, we need to get closer to God with courage in order to

help in his works:

“Since we have a great high priest

who has passed through the heavens,

Jesus, the Son of God,

let us hold fast to our confession.

For we do not have a high priest

who is unable to sympathize with our weaknesses,

but we have one who in every respect has been tested as we are,

yet without sin.

Let us therefore approach the throne of grace with boldness,

so that we may receive mercy

and find grace to help in time of need.” (Hebrew 4:14-16)

When we are crushed, afflicted, and stricken, we can still allow God to make those

painful moments part of the offering for sin, as the servant of the Lord did:

“The servant of the Lord has borne our infirmities

and carried our diseases;

yet we accounted him stricken,

struck down by God, and afflicted.

It was the will of the Lord to crush him with pain.

When you make his life an offering for sin,

 

he shall see his offspring, and shall prolong his days;

through him the will of the Lord shall prosper.

Out of his anguish he shall see light;

he shall find satisfaction through his knowledge.

The righteous one, my servant, shall make many righteous,

and he shall bear their iniquities.” (Isaiah 53.4, 10-11)

Conclusion:

Do we offer ourselves entirely to the works of God so that we might be fully part of his

glory? Do we allow God to grant us the glory, or we award ourselves the glory we think

we earn? Let us fully approach the works of God so that he might award us a place in his

total glory. Let us offer the moments of anguish and discomfort as part of Christ’s

offering for sin in order that the will of God may prosper and thrive in the world.