October 18, 2015 - 29th SUNDAY IN ORDINARY TIME
Cycle B, Green
Is 53:10 – 11 / Heb 4:14 – 16 / Mk 10:35 - 45
First Reading: Is 53:10 – 11
Yet it was the will of Yahweh to crush him with grief. When he makes himself an offering for sin, he will have a long life and see his descendants. Through him the will of Yahweh is done. For the anguish he suffered, he will see the light and obtain perfect knowledge. My just servant will justify the multitude; he will bear and take away their guilt.
Second Reading: Heb 4:14 – 16
We have a great High Priest, Jesus, the Son of God, who has entered heaven. Let us, then, hold fast to the faith we profess. Our high priest is not indifferent to our weaknesses, for he was tempted in every way just as we are, yet without sinning. Let us, then, with confidence approach the throne of grace; we will obtain mercy and, through his favor, help in due time.
Gospel: Mk 10:35 - 45
James and John, the sons of Zebedee, came to Jesus and said to him, "Master, we want you to grant us what we are going to ask of you." And he said, "What do you want me to do for you?" They answered, "Grant us to sit one at your right and one at your left when you come in your glory."
But Jesus said to them, "You don't know what you are asking. Can you drink the cup that I drink or be baptized in the way I am baptized?" They answered, "We can." And Jesus told them, "The cup that I drink you will drink, and you will be baptized in the way I am baptized. But to sit at my right or at my left is not mine to grant. It has been prepared for others."
On hearing this, the other ten were angry with James and John; Jesus then called them to him and said, "As you know, the so-called rulers of the nations act as tyrants and their great ones oppress them. But it shall not be so among you; whoever would be great among you must be your servant, and whoever would be first among you shall make himself slave of all. Think of the Son of Man who has not come to be served but to serve and to give his life to redeem many."
In the Gospel reading two brothers, James and John, hard-working fishermen turned followers of Christ, asked Jesus to give them special places of honor in his glory.
On hearing of their request, the other disciples were angry, and rightly so. Jesus takes the opportunity to instruct his disciples on the true nature of discipleship, "Whoever would be great among you must be your servant, and whoever would be first among you shall make himself slave of all. Think of the Son of Man who has not come to be served but to serve and give his life to redeem many."
Jesus is not discouraging us from being ambitious, from aiming to do well and doing great things. St. Ignatius of Loyola, after reading about the lives of various saints, was enthused about following their examples and doing great things for God. St. Francis Xavier went off to the Indies with great desires and ambition to instruct, baptize and bring all to Christ.
What is important is not to be ambitious only for one's self and selfish motives. The saints were truly ambitious to be great before and for God and his people.
What then is discipleship as taught by Christ? There are various accounts of the call of the first disciples of Jesus. In the Synoptic Gospels, Jesus walking by the sea simply invited Peter and his brother Andrew, and James and his brother John, "Come, follow me, and I will make you fishers of men."(Mt 4: 18-22; Mk 1: 16-20; Lk 5: 1-11) Seeing tax-collector Matthew Jesus said, "Follow me," and "Matthew got up and followed him" (Mt 9: 9-13; Mk 2: 13-14; Lk 5: 27-28).
In the Gospel of John, John the Baptist encouraged his followers to follow Jesus. Andrew and a companion followed Jesus "and spent the rest of the day with him." Andrew then invited his brother Simon Peter to join Jesus. Jesus invited Philip and Philip invited Nathanael. (Jn 1: 35-51) A first condition for discipleship is to somehow get to know the leader, as the disciples of Jesus did in his lifetime.
A disciple follows after the example and life of the master: a disciple of Jesus must be ready to follow him in a similar life of service to the people of God. The lives and death of the disciples of Jesus followed this pattern. They followed his invitation to serve and not to be served, going out to all the world to proclaim the Good News.
Generosity is a necessary component of following Jesus. The disciple serves the master not for self-glorification but for love of the master and his mission and work.
Any disciple of a master who served through suffering must also be ready, following his master, to experience pain and suffering in the ministry.
WE PRAY FOR MTQ DAILY PRAYER DIARY INTENTIONS:
EVENGELINE V. AYOS
IN MEMORIAM (+)
ALFREDO C. DY (AUG 12, 1926 – OCT 18, 2010)
Finally, we pray for one another, for those who have asked our prayers and for those who need our prayers the most.
Have a good day!
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