As Jesus was going up to Jerusalem, he took the Twelve disciples aside by themselves, and said to them on the way,
“Behold, we are going up to Jerusalem,
and the Son of Man will be handed over to the chief priests
and the scribes,
and they will condemn him to death,
and hand him over to the Gentiles
to be mocked and scourged and crucified,
and he will be raised on the third day.”
Then the mother of the sons of Zebedee approached Jesus with her sons and did him homage, wishing to ask him for something. He said to her,
“What do you wish?”
She answered him,
“Command that these two sons of mine sit,
one at your right and the other at your left, in your kingdom.”
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.”
“My chalice you will indeed drink,
but to sit at my right and at my left,
this is not mine to give
but is for those for whom it has been prepared by my Father.”
When the ten heard this, they became indignant at the two brothers. But Jesus summoned them and said,
“You know that the rulers of the Gentiles lord it over them,
and the great ones make their authority over them felt.
But it shall not be so among you.
Rather, whoever wishes to be great among you shall be your servant;
whoever wishes to be first among you shall be your slave.
Just so, the Son of Man did not come to be served but to serve
and to give his life as a ransom for many.”
Jesus warned us that following Him is not easy. He said that if we want to follow Him we must carry our own crosses. And in today's gospel, He even made it more intense by telling us that He, the One we're following, will be condemned, mocked, scourged, and crucified. And it's possible that we will experience the same thing because we are His followers.
But Jesus showed us also how we can endure such pains. He want us to focus on the reward. That no matter how painful the words, the thorns, and the nails we're going to experience, we should stand still and firm and not give up, because we know that like Him who was raised from the dead, we will be raised and rewarded not only here on earth, but also in heaven.
The reward is at the finish line. And yet, we're still not in the finish line. We're still running while enduring every hurdles and pains. And He doesn't want us to leave our road to that finish line empty. He wants us to fill our every steps. He wants us to leave traces of Him in every distance. He wants us to live for Him. He wants us to serve Him by serving His people. By pulling the lost back to Him. By enlightening the minds of confused. By helping the poor. By introducing Christ to people who doesn't know Him yet. By letting the whole world kneel before Christ.