In the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit, one God, Amen.
It is easy to ask ourselves, “How could the disciples have forgotten the words of the Lord?” He is emphatic in his statement to the Twelve, “Behold, we are going up to Jerusalem; and the Son of man will be delivered to the chief priests and the scribes, and they will condemn him to death, and deliver him to the Gentiles; and they will mock him, and spit upon him, and scourge him, and kill him; and after three days he will rise.” Yet through fear, ridicule, terror, oppression—and even divine providence—during the days leading up to Great and Holy Friday that they forgot.
And I think to myself, “I would have remained faithful, I would have stayed with the Lord even to Golgotha.” But my life tells a different story; I know the result, I have seen what happens, I have the witness of the Apostles and of countless saints down through twenty centuries, I have the Scriptures, I have the Church, I have communion with the incarnate Saviour: and I forget. I am not persecuted, I do not have the threat of death over me for belief in God but I still place other things before the Lord. And yet the Lord, in his great love for me and in his great love for you, continues to pour out his grace upon us. I may forget him but he does not forget me and he is looking for even the tiniest remembrance I have of him to bring me back to the fold. And he offers the same to you all: he will take any excuse, any pretence, any reason to declare you as an heir of the Kingdom.
God, in his great love for you, wants you to share in his glory, but the glory of God is different from the glory of the world; our world thinks glory is riches, fame and power—we grant honour to the rich, we praise the mighty, we flatter the famous—and this is what James and John, the sons of Thunder (Mark 3:17), requested of the Lord: let us share in your wealth, your power, your glory. They had seen Christ shining with uncreated light on the mountain (Mark 9:2–13; also Matthew 17:1–8, Luke 9:28–36) and believed that to be the only definition of the glory of God.
Yet the Lord speaks to you and he speaks to me, “Now the Son of Man is glorified, and God is glorified in him. If God is glorified in him, God will also glorify him in himself, and glorify him immediately,” says Christ. “And I, if I am lifted up from the earth, will draw all peoples to myself.” (John 13:31–32, 12:32) The Glory of God is found in the Cross, because through the Cross comes the Resurrection, through the Cross comes Glory, through the Cross comes the Kingdom of God. By our own crosses, therefore, do we share in his glory, “the glory as of the only begotten of the Father, full of grace and truth.” (John 1:14) Dear brothers and sisters, take up, therefore, your crosses that you may glorify Christ and that he may glorify you. Take up your cross alongside his, bear it aloft and rejoice that God remembers us even when we forget him yet still desires us to be heirs and citizens of Heaven.
To our crucified and risen Lord and God Jesus Christ be all honour, glory and majesty, together with his Unoriginate Father and the All-holy, Good and Life-giving Spirit. Amen.
Brethren, when Christ appeared as a high priest of the good things that have come, then through the greater and more perfect tent (not made with hands, that is, not of this creation) he entered once for all into the Holy Place, taking not the blood of goats and calves but his own blood, thus securing an eternal redemption. For if the sprinkling of defiled persons with the blood of goats and bulls and with the ashes of a heifer sanctifies for the purification of the flesh, how much more shall the blood of Christ, who through the eternal Spirit offered himself without blemish to God, purify your conscience from dead works to serve the living God.
— Hebrews 9:11–14
At that time, Jesus took his twelve disciples, and he began to tell them what was to happen to him, saying, “Behold, we are going up to Jerusalem; and the Son of man will be delivered to the chief priests and the scribes, and they will condemn him to death, and deliver him to the Gentiles; and they will mock him, and spit upon him, and scourge him, and kill him; and after three days he will rise.” And James and John, the sons of Zebedee, came forward to him, and said to him, “Teacher, we want you to do for us whatever we ask of you.” And he said to them, “What do you want me to do for you?” And they said to him, “Grant us to sit, one at your right hand and one at your left, in your glory.” But Jesus said to them, “You do not know what you are asking. Are you able to drink the cup that I drink, or to be baptized with the baptism with which I am baptized?” And they said to him, “We are able.” And Jesus said to them, “The cup that I drink you will drink; and with the baptism with which I am baptized, you will be baptized; but to sit at my right hand or at my left is not mine to grant, but it is for those for whom it has been prepared.” And when the ten heard it, they began to be indignant of James and John. And Jesus called them to him and said to them, “You know that those who are supposed to rule over the Gentiles lord it over them, and their great men exercise authority over them. But it shall not be so among you; but whoever would be great among you must be your servant, and whoever would be first among you must be slave of all. For the Son of man also came not to be served but to serve, and to give his life as a ransom for many.”
— Mark 10:32–45