The gospel reveals to us that God’s thoughts are not our thoughts. His ways are not our ways. The apostles James and John, seeing that Jesus was a great leader of men, ask to be allotted positions of importance once he establishes his messianic kingdom. They did not understand the nature of Jesus’ future kingship. So Jesus tells them clearly that to be his disciple, one has to be ready to suffer and not just to become someone important. Jesus does not scold the two of them nor the other ten apostles who complain about the two. Instead he tells them that the path to greatness is by being a servant, in being a small one. Eventually they will understand what he is saying because they will give glory to God by dying for Him as martyrs in the future.
Do we really accept Jesus’ concept of greatness? Or do we inwardly think him to be foolish? Yet how many times have we been edified by the saints who in their poverty, humility and simple kindness have converted many men to the faith? Let us learn from Jesus who, through his humility and self-sacrifice, has shown us his true greatness.