The mother of the sons of Zebedee approached Jesus … wishing to ask him for something. (Matthew 20:20)
Jesus is talking of his death and the two sons of Zebedee: James and John say they will drink of the cup Jesus offers, then their mom arrives.
I am sure like most children there must of been that irritation of Mom please, not NOW! But Mrs. Zebedee was on a mission like any mom….she wants the best for her sons…but she doesn’t realize what that means. I don’t think Mrs. Zebedee realizes what she is asking, if she did I don’t think she would have asked. Challenges in life are part of life and I am sure that Mrs. Zebedee was hoping that if Jesus would elevate her sons they would never have to worry about anything again.
That isn’t how the world works. Challenge is life. That is the important concept of this Gospel: the transformation…the transformation that must first be found in struggle…..and if we are honest with our parenting there are always challenges. Some challenges come to us from life…struggles because of circumstance…some struggles come from unrealized dreams…some from changes in relationships and it the changes in relationships that are the most hurtful.
This picture is a prefect explanation of today’s Gospel. We as moms can become so invest, just as Mrs. Zebedee was, that we want to create our children’s world in our image, but our children can not live in that world, it will hold them too tightly to us, it is not what God asks us to do.
That might be one of the lesson that Mrs. Zebedee had to learn; her sons were choosing their path and she could do nothing to “smooth it out” for them. They had trails they must go through that has nothing to do with mom, and that is often something we as moms do not want to understand. This causes great frustration in the house as our children grow and change and we, because we have grown…gone through what our children are going through, we are a little stagnant, so to recognize our children are pulling away; causes frustration and changes that we must see as a transformative process not only for our children but more importantly for our children. If we can NOT work through this struggle to the transformation we will be locked into the child-parent relationship when it should be parent-adult child.
Pain and hurt are hallmarks of this process as each learns how to re-relate to the other; as the younger begins to understand that relationships must change to grow, it is hoped that we as moms can teach our children healthy ways of relating. As moms this stepping back is very painful and the change it brings at times can be very jarring but the transformation is necessary because without we will never truly see our children as they truly are.