Easter blessings from UCAN
There is no more important week in the year for Christians than this Holy Week. We call it Holy because of the mystery we celebrate - God's gift of His son who loves us to his death on Calvary and beyond.
Because of that love, we wish each other Happy Easter even when we know there is a lot of tragedy about it - Good Friday. As Christians, we know that what we see happening with and in Jesus goes to the heart of what we know from our own experience of life.
At the Second Vatican Council, the Christian lives we all lead were described as being shares in the Paschal Mystery. We have our share in the death and resurrection of Jesus every day. Our lives are part of the Paschal Mystery.
At UCAN, we work to describe that mystery in the unfolding tragedies and astonishing blessings of the people we seek out and report, feature and comment on.
While at times deeply distressing work, this effort of ours gets its coherence in the same way the death of Jesus did - because of the astonishing grace of a God who never gives up on life and love.
Because of that, we can wish you Happy Easter.
Fr. Michael Kelly SJ
The Sons Of Zebedee Make A Request
- March 7, 2012
The disciples expected Jesus to be a political messiah, whose ultimate success was expected to benefit them all. Thatâs why they frequently quarreled among themselves as to who would be greatest in the kingdom. Two of the disciples closest to Jesus now go one step further. They make a special request of him â although some versions say it was their mother who âput in a word for her boysâ â that when Jesus comes to power, they will be placed on seats of honour âone at your right, and the other at your leftâ. The Zebedee sons were smart and aggressive; they were leaving nothing to chance.
Jesus politely turns them down. âYou donât know what you ask for,â he says. âIndeed you will drink from the cup that I drinkâ, and here he uses a metaphor which describes both good fortune and bad. He goes on to say âitâs not for me to decide what will come to you later, but for my Father to do so.â In other words, you disciples will indeed share in my destiny, but not in the way you imagine.
The other disciples were furious with James and John for trying to displace them. So Jesus goes further. He says the way my disciples should behave is not the way the mighty of this world behave. Those who call the shots in this world bully others and brag about their prowess. You, my disciples, are to be far different: you will serve others, even as I do. For I have come to serve, not to be served, and to give my life as a ransom for many.
This passage echoes the mission of the âsuffering servant of Godâ as prophesied in Isaiah. Jesus gives himself a new title: not Son of God but Son of Man, a term which corresponds to âordinary fellowâ. He accepts as his mission a life of service which will end in a death that makes atonement for sin. Thereâs also a reference here to the cup of sacrifice, âpoured out for the salvation of allâ, which in later times the Church will celebrate in the Eucharist.