PRAYER FOR THE WEEK
Jesus, help me stop before I say, “No problem,” about committing to lots of things! Amen.


James and John told Jesus, “We want to sit next to you in heaven.” Jesus said, “You’d have to suffer like me.” “That’s okay,” they said. Jesus told them, “Well, you will suffer like me, but I can’t give you the best seats in heaven. Only my Father can decide that. Besides, if you want to be the best, serve others like I do.”

You’re playing several sports, plus robotics club and clarinet lessons. No problem! You signed up for advanced courses, too. No problem! You like to stay up late, even on weeknights. No problem!

At some point, all the “no problems” become a problem. You’re saying yes to everything without thinking about how much you can do and still enjoy it all, or how much sleep and down-time you need. Suddenly, you’re overwhelmed and not sure how you got into this mess.

You’re not alone! In this week’s Gospel (Mark 10:35-45), Jesus has to remind even the Apostles — His closest, most important followers — that they might be asking too much of themselves.

Everyone commits to too many things sometimes. If you have a birthday party, a karate lesson and a pile of homework on just one weekend, you’ll probably get through it. The trouble comes when you regularly over-commit.

Jesus warned the Apostles about that. They wanted the best seats in heaven, so He told them how much work that would involve. To get super-close to God, they would have to be like servants to the whole world, even suffering like Jesus did.

At first, they said, “No problem!” You can practically hear Jesus groaning, “You are not thinking this through.” He was happy that they were enthusiastic, but He wanted them to be aware that they would have to dedicate their whole lives to God. Then they could make the promise with their whole hearts.

It’s the same for you: When you add more and more to your schedule, think about the work involved. Is this something you really want? Will you stick with it when it gets hard?

Don’t wait for “no problem” to become a problem. Like the Apostles, say yes to the work you can really commit to doing!