Today’s Gospel reading at Mass really struck a chord with me. I could see myself and so many other moms as the Mother in this reading. It frightened me really. Here is the part that was so powerful to me (Matthew 20:20-23).
Then the mother of Zebedee’s sons came with her sons to make a request of him, and bowed low; 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.” Jesus answered, ‘You do not know what you are asking. Can you drink the cup that I am going to drink?’
How many of us would ask the same of Jesus? “Please make sure my son sits with you in your Kingdom”. Now we know the cup Jesus had to drink placed him upon the cross to die for our sins. Knowing this is what was to come, would you ask that your sons be placed on His left and his right in the Kingdom?
So many times we think we are doing what is in our children’s best interest. Making sure we remove all obstacles that may lie in the way of our childrens success. We worry about them so much. We do whatever is necessary to be sure they are at the top of their class. That they make the All-Star teams and hope they come in first in every race. As I write this I’m thinking, I didn’t really do all that. I’m not as bad as this one or that one. All to make myself feel a little better.
Maybe what we are hoping they will become or achive will do the most harm to them. The stress of keeping up, fitting in and being the best is backfiring on us. I live in a town in Monmouth County, NJ where the teen suicide rate is well above average. Who wants credit for being above average in this?? Not me, not you, not anyone for that matter.
The Gospel reading today really hit home with me and I will pray that I am reminded of this reading each and everytime I think I know what’s best for my kids. God holds them in the palm of His hand. He always knows what’s best for them. We are here on this earth to make a difference. To serve each other not be served.
How many of us would offer our children to suffer as Jesus did so that they could be granted the spot on His left or His right? I don’t think that I could.
Cathi De Genova