Drinking from Christ’s Cup
20th Sunday of Ordinary Time
Archbishop Loren Thomas Hines
October 17, 2021
Readings: Isaiah 53:4-12
Do we really understand faith, hope and love? This should be the basis of our lives. Everything should be done with love, not hatred or bitterness, faith not doubt, hope and not despair. In many cases, what scriptures teach us are contrary to the pattern of human life dictated to us by the world’s system. Faith is something we do not see. We may not be aware that faith is there because we cannot see it. Hope should be present even in the midst of trials because God will surely see us through. Love is the foundation of our very lives.
On this 20th Sunday of Ordinary Time, Christ is teaching us once again, His ways. Just like what God did for the children of Israel when He trained and taught them in the wilderness. The world teaches us that we can acquire things easily. But Jesus teaches us God’s ways, and that we are to be like Him. Even today we don’t see ourselves as being like God. Christ came for one purpose which is to give us abundant life. He came to give us the peace of God. Not a false peace that is seen only in the façade but an inner, lasting peace.
Christ had been teaching the people that God had authority over all things. He had been telling the disciples about what He was going to face in Jerusalem. That He was going to be turned over to the chief priests and pharisees. That He was going to be persecuted. James and John then asked Jesus:” We want you to do what we want. Grant us that when it’s time to see your glory, that we may sit beside your throne. One on the right, and one on the left.” Jesus answered, “are you going to be able to drink my cup? Can you receive it in a manner that God will give to you?” Peter, James and John were most of the time in the center of Christ’s activities:
– Jairus’ daughter when she was raised from the dead.
– The Transfiguration
– When Peter’s mother-in-law was sick and they went into her home
– When Christ was calling men to become His disciples, Peter, James and John were the first three.
The “cup” represents us being able to share in the very existence of Christ’s life. The same honor and the same respect. In the Eucharist. Christ is saying,” I am sharing my life with you.” This is what He was referring to when He asked James and John if they were willing to share from His cup. If they were willing to face baptism, and go through the baptism of fire.
Christ is speaking to us today. Are we willing to face persecution for His name’s sake? To face the baptism of fire? History shows us that Christians of old were tortured and even willing to die for their faith. The cup is a metaphor. Christ is sharing His life, His experiences, His abilities. He wants us to be like Him. The disciples failed to grasp the truth of what Christ was saying.
Isaiah 52:13 “behold, my servant will prosper. He will be raised and lifted up and highly exalted.”
Even if Christ died, He prospered because of the resurrection.
James and John wanting to sit in prominent places caused division. Christ does not want division. He wants us to be servants, and to serve in humility. God redeemed us from sin. From the enemy. God’s character is love. He wants us to be restored. Our attitude towards one another should be restoration. “The things I have done, you shall also do,” Jesus said. However, many times, we have a defeatist attitude. “I can’t,” or “we can’t” shouldn’t even be in a Christian’s dictionary. Christ destroyed all the effects of sin on the cross.
We should hold on to the things that are eternal and not things that are temporary. His Kingdom is NOW. We should be walking in God’s ways. Everything pertaining to life and Godliness has been given to us. We should be walking in in faith, hope and love.