Dear Brothers & Sisters in Christ,
Arrogance-ambition-resentment—and shock! These are the vices that jump out at us in today’s Gospel passage from St. Mark. And from whom do they emanate? No less than the chosen disciples of the Lord. Because these men were up close and personal with Him, we tend to idealize these important characters. But characters they certainly were. In reality, they were a rough and, as we see, a self-promoting bunch whom our Lord had to hone into men ready to lay down their lives for Him and the sake of the Gospel. Their spiritual journey was a process of on-going conversion and, most likely not the time of their own deaths, had they reached the point of no longer living for themselves but for the Lord. Our own lives may follow a similar pattern. We want to be close to Jesus, in fact, we revel in it, but always there looms the temptation to “shine in His sight”. Surely, whatever “shine” there may be is not from us, but from His grace shining through us. Our effort is to make sure that nothing obstructs or dims the grace Our Lord so freely gives.
And how do we do that?
Make a good confession.