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“Then James and John, the sons of Zebedee, came to him and said to him, "Teacher, we want you to do for us whatever we ask of you." (Mk 10: 35).


This request from John and James comes immediately after Jesus had announced his passion, death and resurrection for the third time (Mk 10: 32-34). It is evident that these apostles do not understand Jesus and his message. They were among the first who followed Jesus. Their behavior is important for all of the Twelve

“Good reputation, honour, glory, are also goods which seem very legitimate and yet it is necessary to know how to renounce them also. However modest may be our position here, these three children of pride pursue us continuously, and attachment to them hinders us from persevering in the blessed company of Jesus and the Apostles” (De Brésillac, Retreat to missionaries, p. 148).

“In most African cultures twins are given names starting with same the letter meaning that they have a lot in common in terms of character in them. Looking at it from African point of view we could say that whoever gave names to John, Yochanan in Hebrew and James, Ya'aqov in Hebrew (though they were not twins) probably intended to see a lot of similarities in them. No wonder the two bring what was common in them before Jesus; that was their misunderstanding of Jesus’ mission and their mistaken priorities. Apparently, their initial motive of following Jesus was, in view of De Bresillac’s writings, “reputation, honour and glory.”
This text helps us to remember that our plans for carrying out mission should be evaluated in the light of what Jesus wants and not what we want. The desire to do something that I should be remembered for leads us to put ourselves first even before Jesus, our master and could makes us falsely believe that good will and strenuous effort will be rewarded when in actual fact it lacks divine aid. Of course, we bring our gifts to mission, but these gifts should be surrendered to Jesus, our master who knows how they should be used rightly. It is a fact that a human being cannot know vividly the motivation of another. It is only God who searches our inner most desires who knows our motivation. It is faith strengthening to know that we priests who live in the limitations of our weaknesses can have our motives purified by our master (cf. Heb 5:3).
Question: We tend only to ask ourselves what is the motivation for doing what I am doing when it has to do with big things or big ideas, but the same question should equally be posed even in the little ways?.”

Don Phiri, SMA
In charge of SMA Formation House, Kabwe, Zambia

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- 6 - Do not trust every spirit…

- 5 - Like the Apostles... Filled with the Holy Spirit

- 4 - Like the Apostles...“Go thus all the nations…

- 3 - Like the Apostles... The supreme good of knowing Christ Jesus

- 2 - Like the Apostles... In communion withe Christ who sends us

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