Today’s Mass Readings

Daily Reading for Wednesday March 3, 2021

Reading 1, Jeremiah 18:18-20
Responsorial Psalm, Psalms 31:5-6, 14, 15-16
Gospel, Matthew 20:17-28

Reading 1, Jeremiah 18:18-20

18 ‘Come on,’ they said, ‘let us concoct a plot against Jeremiah, for the Law will not perish for lack of priests, nor advice for lack of wise men, nor the word for lack of prophets. Come on, let us slander him and pay no attention to anything he says.’

19 Pay attention to me, Yahweh, hear what my adversaries are saying.

20 Should evil be returned for good? Now they are digging a pit for me. Remember how I pleaded before you and spoke good of them, to turn your retribution away from them.

Responsorial Psalm, Psalms 31:5-6, 14, 15-16

5 to your hands I commit my spirit, by you have I been redeemed. God of truth,

6 you hate those who serve useless idols; but my trust is in Yahweh:

14 But my trust is in you, Yahweh; I say, ‘You are my God,’

15 every moment of my life is in your hands, rescue me from the clutches of my foes who pursue me;

16 let your face shine on your servant, save me in your faithful love.

Gospel, Matthew 20:17-28

17 Jesus was going up to Jerusalem, and on the road he took the Twelve aside by themselves and said to them,

18 ‘Look, we are going up to Jerusalem, and the Son of man is about to be handed over to the chief priests and scribes. They will condemn him to death

19 and will hand him over to the gentiles to be mocked and scourged and crucified; and on the third day he will be raised up again.’

20 Then the mother of Zebedee’s sons came with her sons to make a request of him, and bowed low;

21 and he said to her, ‘What is it you want?’ She said to him, ‘Promise that these two sons of mine may sit one at your right hand and the other at your left in your kingdom.’

22 Jesus answered, ‘You do not know what you are asking. Can you drink the cup that I am going to drink?’ They replied, ‘We can.’

23 He said to them, ‘Very well; you shall drink my cup, but as for seats at my right hand and my left, these are not mine to grant; they belong to those to whom they have been allotted by my Father.’

24 When the other ten heard this they were indignant with the two brothers.

25 But Jesus called them to him and said, ‘You know that among the gentiles the rulers lord it over them, and great men make their authority felt.

26 Among you this is not to happen. No; anyone who wants to become great among you must be your servant,

27 and anyone who wants to be first among you must be your slave,

28 just as the Son of man came not to be served but to serve, and to give his life as a ransom for many.’

3RD MARCH 2021
Jeremiah 18:18-20; Psalm 31:5-6, 14, 15-16; Matthew 20:17-28

Jesus said in reply, “You do not know what you are asking. Can you drink the chalice that I am going to drink?” They said to him, “We can.” (C.f. Matthew 20:22).
▪Let us look at the promptness with which the two disciples responded to the question of the Lord. Their response speaks volumes in their future endeavours. They were seeking for the honour to sit at each side of the Lord in His kingdom, but the Lord reminded them that such honour comes the price of a chalice – the chalice of suffering.
~ During our baptismal promises, similar questions were asked, the summary of which was to believe in God, we responded “I do” to every of the question. At the point of these questions and answers, we were ignorant of the future, but we relied on God’s grace.
~ After many years of these promises in baptism, confirmation, Eucharist, matrimony, ordination, profession and oath of office, do we still say “We can” or are our actions saying “We can’t?”
▪It is in their words “We can” and the “willingness to do the Will of God” that the power to drink this chalice of suffering reside. Our promises to God are strengthened by our willingness to sincerely adhere to those promises. It does not mean that we are not frail to err, but that our frailty will always find the strength in our willingness to rise to our promises.
~ St. Paul reminds us that we can do all things in Him that strengthens us, (c.f. Philippians 4:13). We might have said we can to the promises of God in the past, but now find ourselves weak to fulfill those promises, it is left for us to remember that we can.
~ We can, because for anyone who believes, all things are possible, (c.f. Mark 9:23). We may not be in a haste like James and John, but may we always have the sincerity with which they both responded to the call to drink the chalice of the Lord.
▪Dear friend, if you think you can’t, then you can’t. The moment we decide that “we can” with the help of God, we will always succeed. This means to constantly remain closer to the Lord, so that He will always sustain us in our daily promises. This Lent is a time to remind ourselves that we can still do better in our relationships with God and others. May God grant this grace. Through Christ our Lord. Amen
He will still help us because He can, so that we can rise again
God bless you
Fr Joseph Chukwugozie Ikegbunam
Blessed Sacrament Parish Stowe, and Most Holy Name of Jesus Parish, Morrisville, Vermont, USA