"Grant that in your glory we may sit one at your right and the other at your left."
In today’s Gospel James and John, brothers and apostles of Jesus, ask him if they can be raised up to a higher status above the rest of the Apostles… in front of the rest of the Apostles. This brazened ambition strikes me in my experience at school with students seeking favor with their teachers or asking for a 100% on a quiz as they are taking the quiz. The ambition to be raised higher to sit above everyone else is a part of the human condition. We want to be recognized as great, exceptional, above the neighboring hilltops. However, Jesus challenges the ambition of James and John by saying, “whoever wishes to be great among you will be your servant.” We are called by our faith the be servants for others. That is how Jesus quantifies greatness. Personal ambition requires us to take care of ourselves first rather than others first. It is the antithesis of service. May we continue to challenge ourselves to remember that God does not want us to seek to win but seek to serve.
– James Barry, Religious Studies Department