From: Mark 10:32-45
Third Prophecy of the Passion
 And they (the disciples) were on the road, going up to Jerusalem,
and Jesus was walking ahead of them; and they were amazed, and those
who followed were afraid. And taking the Twelve again, He began to
tell them what was to happen to Him,  saying, "Behold, we are going
up to Jerusalem; and the Son of Man will be delivered to the chief
priests and the scribes, and they will condemn Him to death, and
deliver Him to the Gentiles;  and they will mock Him, and spit upon
Him, and scourge Him, and kill Him; and after three days He will rise."
The Sons of Zebedee Make Their Request
 And James and John, the sons of Zebedee, came forward to Him, and
said to Him, "Teacher, we want You to do for us whatever we ask of
You."  And He said to them, "What do you want Me to do for you?"
 And they said to Him, "Grant us to sit, one at your right hand
and one at your left, in your glory."  But Jesus said to them,
"You do not know what you are asking. Are you able to drink the cup
that I drink, or to be baptized with the baptism with which I am
baptized?"  And they said to Him, "We are able." And Jesus said
to them, "The cup that I drink you will drink; and with the baptism
with which I am baptized, you will be baptized;  but to sit at My
right hand or at My left is not Mine to grant, but it is for those for
whom it has been prepared."  And when the ten heard it, they
began to be indignant at James and John.  And Jesus called them to
Him and said to them, "You know that those who are supposed to rule
over the Gentiles lord it over them, and their great men exercise
authority over them.  But it shall not be so among you; but
whoever would be great among you must be your servant,  and whoever
would be first among you must be slave of all.  For the Son of
Man also came not to be served but to serve, and to give His life as a
ransom of many."
32. Jesus was making His way to Jerusalem with a burning desire to see
fulfilled everything that He had foretold about His passion and death.
He had already told His disciples that He would suffer there, which is
why they cannot understand His eagerness. By His own example He is
teaching us to carry the cross gladly, not to try to avoid it.
35-44. We can admire the Apostles' humility: they do not disguise their
earlier weakness and shortcomings from the first Christians. God also
has wanted the Holy Gospel to record the earlier weaknesses of those
who will become the unshakeable pillars of the Church. The grace of
God works wonders in people's souls: so we should never be pessimistic
in the face of our own wretchedness: "I can do all things in Him who
strengthens me" (Philippians 4:13).
38. When we ask for anything in prayer, we should be ready, always, to
accept God's will, even if it does not coincide with our own: "His
Majesty knows best what is suitable for us; it is not for us to advise
Him what to give us, for He can rightly reply that we know not what we
ask" (St. Teresa, "Mansions", II, 8).
43-45. Our Lord's word and example encourage in us a genuine spirit of
Christian service. Only the Son of God who came down from Heaven and
freely submitted to humiliation (at Bethlehem, Nazareth, Calvary, and
in the Sacred Host) can ask a person to make himself last, if he wishes
to be first.
The Church, right through history, continues Christ's mission of
service to mankind: "Experienced in human affairs, the Church, without
attempting to interfere in any way in the politics of States, `seeks
but a solitary goal: to carry forward the work of Christ Himself under
the lead of the befriending Spirit. And Christ entered this world to
give witness to the truth, to rescue and not to sit in judgment, to
serve and not to be served' (Vatican II, "Gaudium Et Spes", 3).
Sharing the noblest aspirations of men and suffering when she sees them
not satisfied, she wishes to help them attain their full flowering, and
that is why she offers men what she possesses as her characteristic
attribute: a global vision of man and of the human race" (Paul VI,
"Populorum Progressio", 13).
Our attitude should be that of our Lord: we should seek to serve God
and men with a truly supernatural outlook, not expecting any return; we
should serve even those who do not appreciate the service we do them.
This undoubtedly does not make sense, judged by human standards.
However, the Christian identified with Christ takes "pride" precisely
in serving others; by so doing he shares in Christ's mission and
thereby attains his true dignity: "This dignity is expressed in
readiness to serve, in keeping with the example of Christ, who `came
not to be served but to serve.' If, in the light of this attitude of
Christ's, `being a king' is truly possible only by `being a servant',
then `being a servant' also demands so much spiritual maturity that it
must really be described as `being a king.' In order to be able to
serve others worthily and effectively we must be able to master
ourselves, possess the virtues that make this mastery possible" (John
Paul II, "Redemptor Hominis", 21). Cf. note on Matthew 20:27-28.
Source: "The Navarre Bible: Text and Commentaries". Biblical text
taken from the Revised Standard Version and New Vulgate. Commentaries
made by members of the Faculty of Theology of the University of
Navarre, Spain. Published by Four Courts Press, Kill Lane, Blackrock,
Co. Dublin, Ireland.