Editor’s Note: The following is part of Millennial Lenten Reflections, a blog series in collaboration with Catholics in Alliance for the Common Good. Short reflections on the day’s readings, written by young adults from FMS and other organizations, will be posted everyday throughout Lent. 

What is it about our constant desire to be the best? To be honored? To receive recognition? We see that desire in today’s Gospel with James and John.

Jesus has just finished explaining to his disciples that he will be killed when they reach Jerusalem, and the sons of Zebedee get caught up in their own recognition. The original followers of Jesus were distracted by their own pride that they looked right past what Jesus had told them.

They were so distracted by this need to be the best that they missed Jesus right in front of them. How often do we follow in the footsteps of the original disciples and miss Jesus present before us. How often are we so caught up in our own ambitions that we ignore Jesus present in those around us?

Maybe it isn’t pride, but we all do have our own distractions that allow us to ignore the presence of God around us – in ourselves and in each other. But isn’t that part of why we set aside this Lenten season, to address some of those distractions and let us recognize that divine presence in our daily lives?