October 18, 2015: Twenty-ninth Sunday in Ordinary Time
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)
These verses from the Gospel of Mark highlight the depth of the apostles’ failure to understand Jesus’ repeated message of his arrest, torture and execution.
They imagine Jesus only as a gloriously reigning Messiah. But his role of Messiah is one of service to all-despite the consequences.
Jesus is calling his apostles to service rather than to glory.
He is calling them and us to act entirely for the benefit of others.
Jesus is our example.
“For the Son of Man did not come to be served but to serve and to give His life as a ransom for many.”
Being a slave of all is a tall order!
Are there some steps you can take this week toward becoming better servants of those God brings into your lives? Try to be more selfless this week. Try to serve your family, friends and others God brings into your life.
When I learn to do the dishes (by hand, not the dishwasher) with a cheerful heart, then I will be welcomed into God’s kingdom!