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Jesus, James, and John

October 17, 29th Sunday in Ordinary Time
Isaiah 53:10-11, Hebrews 4:14-16 & Mark 10: 35 – 45

Whoever wishes to be great among you will be your servant.

Jesus may very well ask, "again?" After His third prediction of His passion, James and John ask him for the first places when He enters His kingdom. The others get angry when they hear of this (perhaps because they want to compete for the same places themselves.

Jesus reiterates his lesson that greatness in His kingdom for His followers does not lie in the position that they hold but in the service that they give. This time, He gives Himself as an example. He has not come to be served but to serve and to lay down His life as a ransom for many.

We are called (Hebrews 4: 14 – 16) to approach the throne of grace without fear, which Jesus personifies in the passage. In Him, we need to hold firm to our faith.

Let our prayer be: Jesus, give us your mind and heart; Help us to aspire to true greatness and seek to serve rather than be served.

Moreover, our following of Christ is motivated by the faith that He alone can grant us eternal life. To obtain the eternal life that Jesus offers, we need to be ready to share in the passion of Christ. This implies that we should be faithful to him in all circumstances and be ready to accept the crosses that may come on our way.

The crosses that we may have to carry may be very heavy, painful, and demanding and yet like Jesus, we should cling to them, so that we may come to share in his resurrection. We also should know that our discipleship implies our readiness to accept whatever Jesus has gone through in his life. To be closely united to Jesus would mean possessing Christ-like attitudes and values. It means voluntarily walking the way of the cross with unquestioning, unwavering faith and unconditional commitment.

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