SERVE ONE ANOTHER
and John, the Zebedees, were especially close to Christ. John was
referred to as the apostle that Christ loved. And Christ loved James
for his great zeal in implementing the commands of Christ. With
Peter, they were sort of special to Christ. And they knew it. So
they dared to ask what the others could not ask: one to sit at the
right and the other to sit at the left of Christ.
The request James and John made was
defective in that it showed a desire for a place of honor. And this
infuriated the apostles who were also mistaken in that they were not
supposed to entertain envy.
So Christ corrected both of them
saying: Here I am talking of suffering and there you are talking of
honors. No one sits at My right or left. But if you want to be
saved, you must be baptized and drink my cup. Meaning to say, you
must live lives of repentance (i.e., a life of prayer, fasting and
good works) and suffer for my sake...even undergoing martyrdom. And
the first step towards this is to serve one another.
What is "to serve one
another"? St. Joan Thouret served the poorest of the poor by
building a large hospital to minister to them. But she made it clear
that serving the patients did not consist in bathing them, giving
them medicines and comforting them. Serving them meant to lead them
to the obedience of Christ's commands. The physical care can be done
by pagans. True service can only be done by Christians. And when
asked why he was tolerating his troublesome Jesuits, St. Ignatius
answered: "If I can make one of them avoid sin, I would have
Christ ends by saying: If you serve
one another, you will be with Me. But who will sit at My right and
left...no one really deserves that.