The Holy Apostles James and John approach our Lord with the bold request: "Master, we would that Thou shouldst do for us whatsoever we desire." Specifically, what they desire is to be granted the honor of sitting at the right and left hand of Christ when He comes in His glory. Jesus replies, "You know not what you ask." How true...for all of us! Are we not often likewise guilty of expecting God to cater to our personal will and desires, while we only pretend to seek the will of God in our lives?
Because--let's face it--that which God wills for the sake of out salvation may be a bitter pill to swallow. What Our Lord asks us to do is to take upon our shoulders His Cross of sacrificial suffering and self-denial, but this is an inconvenient truth we would sooner forget.
Oh, sure...it is easy enough to pay lip service to the Gospel commandments, but when push comes to shove, it is so much easier to deceive ourselves into thinking that our self-centered and egotistic desires somehow reflect the will of God.
The bottom line is, the will of God is always and everywhere the same: that we come to the knowledge of the Truth and be saved. This can only happen, though, when we cease to exist as self-centered egos. Only then can our hearts be filled with His abundant love. But of course this is a slow and painful process, not something most of us can achieve overnight. And so it is tempting to give up even trying, to allow ourselves to fall into a state of denial and complacency, figuring that our feeble efforts to follow external rules will be enough to carry us over into the Kingdom.
But salvation is so much more than a legal pardon from God for whatever sins we have committed. Simply put, it is our union and communion with the living God of Love, in Whom and through Whom we shall be transformed--if we are willing--into children of Light and citizens of His heavenly Kingdom.