Friday, 12 August 2011
You two actually think you can talk me into -- what!
11 August Thursday proper 14
James and John ask Jesus if they can sit at his sides in glory.
I like the way the Gospel of Mark has James and John ask for themselves, instead of the version where their mother asks for them!
The two of them asking together -- a team of siblings supporting each other and working toward something as supporters rather than rivals -- even if their request is not exactly admirable, I like the image of their unity.
I can remember over the years, secretly smiling when my children conspired together to con me into something. I felt it was good for them to learn about mutual respect and compromise through these practical exercises of trying to manipulate me, even when the end goal was not something I wanted to agree to.
I hope that those times of sibling team-building has translated into skill at other relationships and mutual support in the wider world.
Of course, part of the lesson from the Gospel is that the siblings needed to expand their circle of concern to strive for the best for not just themselves but also the wider community. I do hope that I have also helped my children learn that lesson over the years.
Pondering the empty nest is partly a process of reflection on the values that it is hoped the children have assimilated before they fly off.
Oh, how good and pleasant it is, when siblings live together in unity!
God, I pray that they will continue to share and be in unity even when we no longer live together. Amen.