Wednesday of the 8th week in ordinary time

1 Peter 1: 15-25      Mark 10: 32-45

Theme: Human ambition

In the gospel reading of today from St. Mark, we see Jesus educating his disciples and preparing them for what he is about to undergo as they get into Jerusalem, but James and John his brother were occupied with other things because of their selfish ambitions. One would have expected that the message of Jesus would have surprised all the Apostles and make them sober, but not the two brothers. They were more concerned about occupying important positions by being on the two sides of Jesus. The action of the two brothers lives so much to be desired, especially in the gospel of Mark, because we are told that they made this request from Jesus themselves; unlike in St. Mathews gospel when we are told that their mother made the request for them. The human quest for inordinate ambition has led so many people to make very grievous mistakes in their life. This singular action got the other Apostles angry against the two brothers and this may have caused some kind of tension amongst them. Ordinarily, no one will blame the other Apostles for getting angry with the two brothers, because their request was very selfish.

Analyzing this story, it is very easy for us to condemn the action of the two brothers. However, take time to reflect, and you may be surprised that there have been moments in your life that you have exhibited similar behavior like them. Have you had moments in your life when you decide to make use of other options to get things done in your favour, at the expense of somebody else or a group of people. Also, have there been moments in your life when you favour somebody or a group of people because of your affiliation with them, and not because they truly merit what you have given them? If you have done any of these or similar things in your personal life, you are encouraged today to learn from the admonition of Jesus and be guided. Ambition is not negative, what is negative is simply what is driving our ambition, is it for selfish reasons or for the common good? This is what will determine where to classify your ambition.

Another thing that I would also like to point out in the gospel reading of today is the fact that we must be mindful of when to bring up issues. This was a very bad time to bring up their request, taking into consideration the fact that Jesus was educating them about what is about to happen to him. But they were rather more concerned with their selfish ambition. We pray for grace to live a good and selfless life, in the name of the father and of the son and of the holy spirit, Amen. Peace be with you.

Wednesday of the 8th week in ordinary time, by Fr. Jude Ifeanyi Ifezime, C.S.Sp