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Gospel reflection

October 21, 2012: 29th Sunday in Ordinary Time


Church of the Immaculate Conception. On the motherhouse grounds of the Sisters of Providence of Saint Mary-of-the-Woods, Indiana.

James and John, the sons of Zebedee, came to Jesus and said to him, “Teacher, we want you to do for us whatever we ask of you.”
He replied, “What do you wish me to do for you?”
They answered him, “Grant that in your glory we may sit one at your right and the other at your left.”
Jesus said to them, “You do not know what you are asking. Can you drink the cup that I drink or be baptized with the baptism with which I am baptized?”
They said to him, “We can.”
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 or at my left is not mine to give but is for those for whom it has been prepared.”
When the ten heard this, they became indignant at James and John.
Jesus summoned them and said to them, “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. Rather, whoever wishes to be great among you will be your servant; whoever wishes to be first among you will be the slave of all. For the Son of Man did not come to be served but to serve and to give his life as a ransom for many.” (Mark 10:35-45)Have you ever wanted to ask Jesus for something like the apostles asked him for here…something that would show other people that you were special to him?
I imagine that you have not done that, mostly because maybe you would not want people to think you are a “holy” person. I am not sure what the apostles were asking for here–it seems as if they wanted to sit by Jesus in heaven, some on his right, some on his left. Perhaps our idea of heaven has grown since the time of the apostles.


Why don’t you think a little about what you think heaven will be like?
Obviously you won’t have a body like you do now, so how will you know one another?
If heaven is a place where everyone is happy, how will they show that?
Will you always be in Jesus’ presence?
You will not be able to answer these questions, but thinking about them may help you never fear being called by God to go to heaven.

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Sister Jeanne Knoerle

Sister Jeanne Knoerle was a Sister of Providence for 64 years. She taught for many years at schools in Illinois, Indiana, and Washington, D.C. and was the president of Saint Mary-of-the-Woods College from 1968 to 1983. Sister Jeanne passed away in June 2013. Read Sister Jeanne’s Obituary here.

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