Today's gospel reading was about Christ telling his apostles what is ahead of them when they arrive at Jerusalem. He forewarns them that he has to suffer and die so that he may rise again. Surely this was a frightening prediction for them and yet James and John have the audacity to tell Jesus they want him to grant them whatever they ask. It just seems so self-centered that they ignore what he has said about his suffering and death, but he does not reprimand them, rather he just asks what they want. Their self-centeredness is even more evident in their request of one being at his right and one at his left when he is in his glory. Again, there is no reprimand from Jesus, he merely tells them it is not for him to decide. But the other ten apostles are indignant with the two for their insensitivity.
Jesus is so patient and forgiving with his apostles, not just with James and John, but also with the others. He knows the indignant ten will fall asleep even after he asks them to keep watch in the Garden of Gethsemane. He knows that Judas will betray him. He knows that Peter will deny him. He does not call them on those things; he gives them the chance to choose differently.
His loving patience is there for us also. He will give us another chance to make the right choice the next time even when we have repeatedly made the wrong choices many times over. He has a love for us that we can never deserve. May we always be grateful for Jesus' infinite love for us.
By Susan Tinley