Twenty Ninth Sunday.
Mark 10:35-45 “You do not know what you are asking… Can you drink the cup that I must drink…”
I can almost hear Jesus: Omg 😱 look at these two. They haven’t a clue what they’re asking.
Jesus could be alluding to the cost to himself of opening Heaven to us.
Remember if you ask God to hug sinful humanity it’s similar to you or I hugging the person who has offended or hurt us. For God it’s a similar emotional, psychological and spiritual experience.
But Jesus could also be alluding to how much it’ll cost James and John themselves.
Remember too that you and I share in the cup that Jesus “must drink” through the Eucharist and we share in the baptism that he is “baptized with” through our baptism.
Sometimes though it’s all just words! But the really chosen souls don’t just share in this cup and baptism sacramentally, at a distance so to speak; they share it in their flesh. It becomes their flesh.
Suffering is never a punishment. Never.
Sometimes suffering is intended to get us off the wrong road.
Sometimes suffering is intended to bring those on the right road even closer to Jesus.
But both have the one aim; to bring us to Heaven.
One point is very clear; entry into eternal life is costly!
There is always some level of suffering.
The suffering that’s part of life, aging, serious illness, bereavement – there’s no need to go looking for it because it’s just part of living – shatters our illusions and breaks down the ego. It puts jealousy, envy, indignation, the need to make our authority felt, all that stuff, the stuff that’s not fit for Heaven in perspective. Remember, envy and all that stuff, so much that’s part of our lives, can’t enter Heaven because it’ll turn Heaven into hell. Suffering breaks all that stuff down. It makes all that stuff irrelevant, unimportant, trivial.
As the years take their toll you’ll often hear it said: It’s easy talk to him or her now!
Life has built-in levelers that conspire to make us fit for Heaven.
We need to be able to trust life, especially all that comes uninvited, knowing that it’s Heaven breaking into our small lives and preparing us for big life, for Heaven, nothing more, nothing less.