Today's Scriptural Meditation Readings:
October 18 A..D. 2009
Scripture from today's Liturgy of the Word:
Psalm 33:4-5, 18-19, 20, 22
Mark 10:35-45 or 10:42-45
A reflection on today's Scripture:
Even saints were once young and foolish!
Not only foolish, but selfish and pushy!
In St. Mark's Gospel, the two "sons of thunder," James and John, make a bid for a power position in Jesus' new kingdom. They're overeager and too confident as they ask the Master for the choice seats next to His Throne! Jesus doesn't get angry with them. After assuring them that seating arrangements will be made by God the Father, He quietly asks them if they're prepared to drink the bitter cup that He is about to drink.
James and John must have looked at each other in some embarrassment and confusion before they replied, "We can!" Now the other disciples are angry and resentful at James' and John's attempt to pull one over on them. (Obviously, they're looking for power and prestige just as much as the two brothers.)
Sadly, Jesus realizes that none of them understand, so He emphatically and clearly sets the rules for Christian discipleship. There is to be no lording it over one another! "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."
But be careful! There's a tendency for us to assume that the Lord is talking to the "big shots" in the Church. The truth is, He's talking to the whole Church. To whatever extent we abuse the authority of our Baptism, either in carrying out our Church ministries or in our families, to that extent we are untrue to the example Jesus sets for us. The other readings for the day make it clear that Jesus, the High Priest, does not identify with us in our sinfulness, but in our suffering.
So, if we are to follow Jesus' rules for discipleship, we must prepare to be "suffering servants." On this Mission Sunday, we pray and sacrifice for our missionaries at home and abroad who are bringing many to faith through the example of their lives of sacrifice and suffering.
~ Msgr. Paul Whitmore
| email: firstname.lastname@example.org
Sunday, October 18, 2009
Twenty-ninth Sunday in Ordinary Time
Lives of the saints:
Full Scripture text from today's Liturgy of the Word:
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