Prize open the purses and wallets of the faithful of St. Mary’s Whitkirk and as well as the debit and credit cards, the membership for the gym and the wadge of hard-earned pound notes there will be reward cards.
You know the sort of thing, buy 354 coffees and get one free. Those cards that reward you for shopping at a centre retailer – one not too far from here.
And we have them because we like the idea of something for free. A good reward scheme in a way motivates us to buy from one shop rather than another – “oooh, I can get my reward points there”.
I wonder if we live a bit of a reward card faith? I wonder if there is a bit of us that thinks if we store up enough good deeds we’ll be ok. So that when we come to the pearly gates and present our loyalty card, we can proudly say to God “look at all I have done for you” and so are ushered off to endless bliss.
Well, if so – then hear the Gospel for today. It’s a story in which James (our Saint for today) and John’s Mum – we don’t know her name wants the best for her sons, wants Jesus to promise a reward for them if they follow him.
It’s understandable enough a Mum who wants the best for her sons. Except Jesus refuses to give her what she wants. Instead, he tells her that what she asks is not his to grant.
He goes on to say to both her and the disciples who become part of the conversation that ‘whoever wishes to be great amongst you must be your servant.’
So in this Gospel Jesus makes no promise of reward. But instead offers a way of living and loving rooted in mutual service.Continue reading “Rewards”