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Today's Gospel + short theological explanation

Wednesday of the Second Week of Lent
Gospel text (Mt 20:17-28): As Jesus was going up to Jerusalem, he took the twelve [disciples] aside by themselves, and said to them on the way, “Behold, we are going up to Jerusalem, and the Son of Man will be handed over to the chief priests and the scribes, and they will condemn him to death, and hand him over to the Gentiles to be mocked and scourged and crucified, and he will be raised on the third day (…) The Son of Man did not come to be served but to serve and to give his life as a ransom for many.”

Christ’s "vicarious suffering"

EDITORIAL TEAM evangeli.net (based on texts by Benedict XVI) (Città del Vaticano, Vatican)

Today, Jesus predicts His Passion for the third time and He appears to us as that "one" who, by obeying the Father, suffers to offer salvation of "all". Recent theology has underlined the use of the word "for", in all four accounts of the Eucharist; a word that may be considered the key, not only to the Last Supper accounts, but to the figure of Jesus Christ overall.

"For" connotes a "pro-existence attitude": the being of Jesus is there, not for Himself, but for others; this is not merely a dimension of His existence, but the innermost essence and its entirety. His very being is a "being-for".

—The Son of man has come to give His life as a ransom for many! This is the new worship: Jesus draws mankind into His vicarious obedience. Our participation in Christ’s Body and Blood indicates that His action is "for many" - for us - and that through the Eucharist, we are drawn into the "many".