Posted by: RAM | October 17, 2015

Sunday (October 18): “Whoever wishes to be great among you will be your servant.”

Mabuhay at Mabuting Balita!
Month of the Most Holy Rosary

St. Luke, Patron of Physicians and Surgeons
Twenty-Ninth Sunday in Ordinary Time
Lectionary: 146
69 Days Before Christmas

First Reading: Isaiah 53:10-11
Psalms 33:4-5, 18-19, 20, 22: Lord, let your mercy be on us, as we place our trust in you.
Second Reading: Hebrews 4:14-16
Gospel: Mark 10:35-45

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.”

Reflection: Would you rather be the leader or a follower, take first place or the last? Two of Jesus’ disciples boldly asked Jesus to promote them to first place in his kingdom. The desire for greatness seems to be inbred in all of us. Who wants to be last or least? Jesus did the unthinkable – he reversed the order to true greatness and glory. If we want to be first and great, then we must place ourselves at the disposal of others by putting their interests first and by taking on their cares and concerns as if they were our own.

Jesus wedded authority with unconditional love and service with total sacrifice – the willing sacrifice of one’s life for the sake of another. Authority without sacrificial love is brutish and self-serving. Jesus also used stark language to explain what kind of sacrifice he had in mind. His disciples must drink his cup if they expect to reign with him in his kingdom. The cup he had in mind was a bitter one involving crucifixion – laying down one’s life even to the point of shedding one’s blood for the sake of Christ.

What kind of cup does the Lord have in mind for each one of us? For some disciples such a cup entails physical suffering and the painful struggle of martyrdom – the shedding of one’s blood for the sake of Christ’s name. But for many of us, it entails the long routine of the Christian life, with all its daily sacrifices, disappointments, set-backs, struggles, and temptations. The Lord Jesus has offered his life for our sake and he calls us to freely offer our lives in a daily sacrifice of love and service for others. What makes such sacrifice a joy rather than a burden is love – the kind of love which has power to transform and change our lives and the lives of those around us. Paul the Apostle tells us that this “love” is a pure gift  “which God has poured into our hearts through the Holy Spirit which has been given to us” (Romans 5:5). If we allow God’s love to transform our lives, then no sacrifice will be too great or hard to make.

An early church father summed up Jesus’ teaching with the expression: “to serve is to reign with Christ.” We share in God’s power, authority, and kingdom by loving others as he has loved us and by laying down our lives in humble caring service for the sake of our neighbor’s welfare. Are you ready to lay down your life and to serve others as Jesus did?

“Lord Jesus, set me free from fear and pride that I may be a servant of love and compassion for others. May the fire of your love inflame my heart that I may give generously and serve joyfully for your sake.” author Don Schwager © 2015 Servants of the Word

Saint of the Day: St. Luke, Patron of Physicians and Surgeons

Luke wrote one of the major portions of the New Testament, a two-volume work comprising the third Gospel and Acts of the Apostles. In the two books he shows the parallel between the life of Christ and that of the Church. He is the only Gentile Christian among the Gospel writers. Tradition holds him to be a native of Antioch, and Paul calls him “our beloved physician” (Colossians 4:14). His Gospel was probably written between A.D. 70 and 85.

Luke appears in Acts during Paul’s second journey, remains at Philippi for several years until Paul returns from his third journey, accompanies Paul to Jerusalem and remains near him when he is imprisoned in Caesarea. During these two years, Luke had time to seek information and interview persons who had known Jesus. He accompanied Paul on the dangerous journey to Rome where he was a faithful companion. “Only Luke is with me,” Paul writes (2 Timothy 4:11).

More Saints of the Day

Let me be the change I want to be. Even if I am not the light, I can be the spark.  RAM Follow tweets by @TheOneKin  @Pontifex @CardinalChito


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