Daily Reflection – Oct 21, 2018
Sunday 21 October 2018
First Reading: IS 53:10-11
Lord, let your mercy be on us, as we place our trust in you.
PS 33:4-5, 18-19, 20, 22
Second Reading: HEB 4:14-16
Gospel Reading: MK 10:35-45
Today’s Note: 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.”
The Son of Man did not come to be served but to serve and to give his life as a ransom for many. (Mark 10:45)
It has been estimated that Internet start-up companies try to squeeze ten years’ worth of growth in just three years. Imagine the grueling amount of work the entire team would have to perform over that time. Imagine the sacrifices each team member would have to make in order to make the company a success.
Now imagine if, one day, one of the employees of such a company stood up in a meeting and asked the founder to make him a key executive over everyone else. Imagine him asking for the corner office and all the other perks that come with such a position. How do you think his coworkers would react? They had all worked hard! Why should this fellow get special treatment?
This scenario is a bit of a modern take on today’s Gospel reading, as James and John ask Jesus to guarantee them special seating when he comes into his kingdom. All the disciples had worked hard and followed Jesus faithfully, so why should these two be raised up above the others?
It seems that James and John missed three important points. First, they didn’t understand that Jesus was destined to be a heavenly king, not an earthly one. They missed that he wanted to build a kingdom focused on mercy and love, not power and domination.
Second, they didn’t realize that Jesus had come to die, not to reign. He had come, not to be served like royalty, but to serve his people—to the point of giving up his very life for them.
Finally, they missed the point that this isn’t a competition. Everyone who serves Jesus will be given a seat of honor in heaven!
Like the apostles, you, too, are part of Jesus’ team. So think about your role in his organization. How is he calling you to give your life in service to him and his kingdom?
“Father, give me a servant’s heart. Lord, I want to dedicate myself to making sure that everyone in your kingdom succeeds.”