Sunday, October 18, 2009

Reflections on the Readings for the 29th Sunday in Ordinary Time

Isaiah 53: 10-11
Hebrews 4: 14-16
Mark 10: 35-45

One could say that James and John are the most clueless of Jesus’ disciples. And they are definitely slow learners. We have seen in the earlier readings from the Gospel of Mark, what it means to be a disciple of Jesus; what are the challenges and the sacrifices that are required. But James and John do not seem to get it, they are still looking to be above the others; they want to be Jesus’ “number one” guys. Jesus is blunt with them; he lets them know what will be required of them, what it will cost them to be his followers. James and John are still clueless; they should have remembered what Isaiah had written about the Messiah, how he was going to suffer, so that others may be saved. Jesus reminds them and the other Apostles that they are not to be like the rest of society, where everyone is continuously seeking power and prestige. No, they are to be servants to all people; that if one wanted to be the greatest of all, they would have to be “the slave of all.”

In our society today, we are constantly being bombarded with images and stories of people who are seeking fame, power, and wealth; and those who have it, are flaunting it. Our televisions are constantly showing us the lives of the rich and famous, the checkout counters of our stores are almost buried with magazines, papers, “scandal sheets,’ revealing every aspect of these “bright, young things” lives. And truth be told, all of us have a desire to be “top dog” in our own little part of the world, to have at least fifteen minutes of fame.

And there is Jesus telling us: “You know that those who are recognized as rulers over the Gentiles lord it over them, and their great ones make their authority over them felt. But it shall not be so among you.” We are all called to be servants, to one another, and to the rest of the world. This will require us to make sacrifices, let go our egos, give of our talents, time and treasure. We are inspired by the example of Jesus Christ; receive strength from his Body and Blood, so that we can give our lives for others.

1 comment:

  1. It's funny; we've heard that reading our whole lives and lilke James and John it never really sinks in until our thoughts get turned around, when God turns us around. For me to understand their cluelessness I have to put them into my world, and this is all taking place to people who really haven't had a conversion experience yet (the coming of the Holy Spirit), I mean, I can only imagine how I would act...