|picture of my son's footprints during one of our vacations|
I got done pulling the 1,000 something medications for the morning and noon doses, for all the inmates needing them that Sunday. The huge million-dollar worth machine just kept spewing them out. One by one, already wrapped in a special type of plastic wrapper, imprinted with the inmates’ names and the name and dosage of the medications. Feeling the pang of hunger after working non-stop, despite the quietness of the shift, I went on my break and savored the homemade sandwich I prepared, as I closed both doors of one room and turned off the light. I needed that solitude, to rejuvenate. To stretch and calm the achy muscles of my neck with a 13 year old injury from working in the hospital prior, that forever changed its function.
Freshened up, I went back to the Infirmary to find out that half of the lights were turned off. The quieter it appeared. Except the joyous laughter that erupted and broke the din of boredom. There, I found some co-workers, both from the medical and custody staff, enjoying each other. Sharing jokes, some, even flirting with each other. I felt out of place. I thought I could stay there. But I couldn’t enjoy it. I got up and went to our Pharmacy and stayed there until the tryst dissipated. I could not stand it that they all seemed working hard, only if the higher supervisor was present. And it was always sad to see that some of them were praised for working hard. When I knew it wasn’t true.
What happened thousands of years ago is no different than what is happening now. Many men started becoming Jesus’ disciples but they had a wrong perception that Jesus came as the promised Messiah Who would free them from Rome’s oppression. Sons of Zebedee, James and John, wanted honored places in it. But they didn’t realize, Jesus is not of this world. His Kingdom would be established not by conquering places nor building huge palaces. But instead, by changing the hearts and lives of men. They just didn’t get that. Until after Jesus resurrected.
“Teacher, we want you to do us a favor,” they asked Jesus.
“What is it?” Jesus asked.
“In your glorious Kingdom, we want to sit in places of honor next to you,” they said, “one at your right and the other at your left.”
But Jesus answered, “You don’t know what you are asking! Are you able to drink from the bitter cup of sorrow I am about to drink? Are you able to be baptized with the baptism of suffering I must be baptized with?” [Mark 10:35-38].
Jesus didn’t mock their question. But He denied that request.
As darkness fell across the whole land when Jesus was crucified, there, as He was preparing to begin His Kingdom through His death, the places on his right and left were taken by two dying men - both criminals. One, who ended up believing in Him as Son of God.
Jesus is not after power-hungry followers. He explained that anyone who wants to truly follow Him must be prepared to suffer and die as He, Himself did. It is only by the way of the cross that we can get on the road to His Kingdom.
As His disciples today, we must deny ourselves, take His cross and follow Him. We must resist being on the limelight. God is the One Who helps us out with all the challenges we are to face. So, it is just right that He gets the full credit. Glory to God!
Matthew 10:38 - “If you refuse to take up your cross and follow me, you are not worthy of being mine.”
Lord, thank You for dying on the cross. Thank You for making a way for us, sinners, to reconnect with Father. Thank You that You never got out of this difficult trek You had to walk on when You were here. Thank You for suffering for us, a horrible way. But I know that you also suffered the ultimate suffering, when You took all of humanity's sins and You were spiritually separated from God. Lord, continue to mold me and change my heart, to conform to Yours. Thank You Lord for Your faithful and unconditional love. Thank You for gaining that victory on the cross and passing it on to those who believes in You. I love You Lord. All the glory belongs to You, Oh Lord. In Jesus' Name. Amen.