Lenten Journal – Day 15: Grace

Matthew 20:20-21Then the mother of the sons of Zebedee came up to him, with her sons, and kneeling before him she asked him for something. And he said to her, “What do you want?” She said to him, “Command that these two sons of mine may sit, one at your right hand and one at your left, in your kingdom.”

As a mother, I can very well relate to Salome the mother of the sons of Zebedee, James and John. As a mother, I want the very best for my children. I want them to excel and have a good future. I want them to be successful and happy. I would do anything for them that sometimes, in the eyes of other people, could look like I’m spoiling them.

I also know that there are just some things that I cannot control. No matter how hard I try to be a good mother, children have different personalities, and there are some who can be a real challenge. In some occasions, I find myself on my knees and begging God to take care of my kid, to change her and bring her back. After trying every possible way, the only thing left is to pray and trust.

Today’s Gospel reading made me think and reflect of all the things mothers would do for their kids. There is nothing wrong with wanting the best for your children, but it should be balance with wisdom and humility. It should never be at the expense of other people nor should it be out of selfish motives. Our kids are not our extension or puppets to fulfill our dreams and needs. They are gifts of God with their own personalities.

This Lent, God is again calling me to serve. But I have to discern whether I’m going out to the extremes in the name of service, thus making service as a goal itself, like a kind of an idol. I have to search inside my heart if I’m doing all the fasting, praying, penance and service just to serve my own ego; making them like children or trophies that I can present to God with pride. “Look at me, Lord and what I have done for you. Can I now sit with you?” I must never forget that everything I receive is grace. There’s nothing I can do to earn grace.  Because it is freely given by our loving God. I have to remember that  I should be like my Master Jesus Christ. And He said, “whoever would be great among you must be your servant, and whoever would be first among you must be your slave;even as the Son of man came not to be served but to serve, and to give his life as a ransom for many.”              Matt. 20:26-28

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