29th Sunday in Ordinary Time - Sunday, October 17, 2021

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Father Jim Valk

October 15, 2021

In today’s Gospel, the sons of Zebedee didn’t know what they were asking in wanting to sit at Jesus’ right and left in the Kingdom. They were asking for privileges and honors. Once again, the disciples seem to be selective in what they hear Jesus say. They want to share Jesus’ glory, but do not appear to understand that his glory will be preceded by his suffering. Jesus notes their lack of understanding and predicts the suffering they will endure for the sake of the Gospel. Jesus says that the honor they seek is not his to give. When the other ten hear what James and John have asked, Mark reports that they are indignant. Jesus takes the opportunity to teach them.

Jesus explains the importance of service and sacrifice in the life of a disciple. In particular, he seems to be preparing the Twelve for their leadership roles in the emerging Christian community.

To share in God’s glory, we must be willing to share Jesus’ self-giving service to others without counting the cost or seeking his own glory. Our service must not be about what we can earn. It must always be about our free self-giving to others and God. this service is something anyone can do—and it is something we are all called to do!