Twenty-ninth Sunday in Ordinary Time
Lectionary: 146 (NAB Translation)
In this week’s first reading from the book of Prophet Isaiah, we hear from a passage commonly referred to as the fourth Song of the Servant. This passage is a poetic prophecy of how God’s servant will endure pain and humiliation on behalf of others in order to heal them and set them free. Although there have been differing interpretations on who this Servant would be, the Church sees this as clear foreshadowing of mission of our Savior Jesus Christ. “By his sufferings shall my servant justify many, taking their faults on himself.”
May your love be upon us, O Lord, as we place all our hope in you.
This week’s second reading from the letter to the Hebrews, is a passage that focuses on the priesthood of Christ. You may recall that Jesus is presented as Priest, Prophet, and King. He fulfills his priestly role as our eternal high priest who represents his people before God. The beauty of this passage is how clearly it presents Jesus as holy, yet merciful –and able to sympathize with our weaknesses because of the temptations he endured in his life here on earth. This is the basis for our confidence in him.
The Son of Man came to serve
and to give his life as a ransom for many.
This week’s Gospel is from St Mark. Here we the Apostles’ (even St. John) wrestling with worldly ambition. James and John, the sons of Zebedee, are shamelessly jockeying for position in Jesus’ future kingdom. The fact that this episode is even recorded in the Gospel demonstrates that there was no whitewashing the weaknesses of the Apostles, who in humility allowed the stories of their earlier weaknesses to speak to the power of the gospel. If Jesus is who he says he is, we see that all strength to resist the trappings of worldly ambition can only come from God. Hence, Jesus takes this situation as a “teachable moment,’ where he makes it plain that all should seek to be servants as Christ became a servant, who sacrificed himself completely out of love for mankind.
Gospel Meditation from Bishop Vásquez
What is my motivation? Glory or service? This is what Jesus asks his disciples. Many of us may prefer glory to service but Jesus teaches us that true glory is service. To be great is to be servant of all. Start small. How can I humble myself to become a true servant to others?