Week of 2 Advent, Year One
[Go to Mission St Clare for an online version of the Daily Office including today’s scripture readings.]
Today’s Readings for the Daily Office:
Psalms 31 (morning) // 35 (evening)
2 Thessalonians 2:13-3:5
When I was in seminary, several of my peers were sponsored by a program called “Making Excellent Disciples.” The program included special funding, separate mentoring meetings, and a subsidy for the new priest’s first two years of ministry work.
I was not among these Excellent Disciples. Every once in a while, someone would ask, “Are you in Making Excellent Disciples?” I would reply, “No, I’m just one of the Mediocre Disciples.”
Today’s gospel passage brought back these memories with something of a smile. To my relief, Jesus is not in the business of ranking disciples according to excellence. The text tells us that “A dispute . . . arose among them as to which one of them was to be regarded as the greatest.” But Jesus offers them a vision in which none is greater than the other. He tells them that they will all “eat and drink at my table in my kingdom,” and that they will each have a throne of their own.
Why do they deserve such a place in the kingdom? He tells them, “You are those who have stood by me in my trials.” So, even if we are utterly without excellence, we can claim our place standing at Christ’s side and sitting at Christ’s table. Today may be a day to embrace our mediocre discipleship.