Alamin ang iyong ambisyon Twenty-ninth Sunday in Ordinary Time

Twenty-ninth Sunday in Ordinary Time

Reading 1 IS 53:10-11

The LORD was pleased
to crush him in infirmity.

If he gives his life as an offering for sin,
he shall see his descendants in a long life,
and the will of the LORD shall be accomplished through him.

Because of his affliction
he shall see the light in fullness
of days;
through his suffering, my servant shall justify many,
and their guilt he shall bear.

Responsorial Psalm PS 33:4-5, 18-19, 20, 22

R. (22) Lord, let your mercy be on us, as we place our trust in you.

Upright is the word of the LORD,
and all his works are trustworthy.
He loves justice and right;
of the kindness of the LORD the earth is full.

R. Lord, let your mercy be on us, as we place our trust in you.

See, the eyes of the LORD are upon those who fear him,
upon those who hope for his kindness,
To deliver them from death
and preserve them in spite of famine.

R. Lord, let your mercy be on us, as we place our trust in you.

Our soul waits for the LORD,
who is our help and our shield.
May your kindness, O LORD, be upon us
who have put our hope in you.

R. Lord, let your mercy be on us, as we place our trust in you.

Reading 2 HEB 4:14-16

Brothers and sisters:
Since we have a great high priest who has passed through the heavens,
Jesus, the Son of God,
let us hold fast to our confession.
For we do not have a high priest
who is unable to sympathize with our weaknesses,
but one who has similarly been tested in every way,
yet without sin.
So let us confidently approach the throne of grace
to receive mercy and to find grace for timely help.

Alleluia MK 10:45

R. Alleluia, alleluia.
The Son of Man came to serve
and to give his life as a ransom for many.
R. Alleluia, alleluia.

Gospel MK 10:35-45

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.”

Sunday Reflection

True Power

29th Sunday in the Ordinary Time [October 21, 2018] Mark 10:35-45

Whoever wishes to be first among you will be the slave of all. (Mk. 10:44)

washing feet“Power tends to corrupt, and absolute power corrupts absolutely.” This familiar adage comes from an English noble, Lord Acton in his letter to Bishop Mandell Creighton in 1887. Lord Acton observed that people who possessed absolute control over other persons were inclined to abuse their power and exploit their subjects. This happens throughout human history. Jesus and His disciples themselves witnessed these corrupt powerful leaders during their time and eventually, became victims of this corruption.

We recall how Herod the Great commissioned his army to slaughter all the babies under two years old in Bethlehem. He was having a paranoia that a baby born in this town of David would overthrow him from power someday. Herod Antipas, a son of Herod the Great, ordered the beheading of John the Baptist. This was done just to pacify the anger of his whimsical yet anti-critic wife. A Jewish historian, Josephus, narrated how Pilate, the Roman procurator, ruled Judea with iron and bloody hand. He commanded the crucifixion more than two thousand Jews during his brief stint in Jerusalem. With absolute power in their hands, human lives become so cheap. The only thing that matters is how they remain in power.

Ironically, despite witnessing those horrible events, James and John, as well as the rest of the disciples remain obsessed with power. James and John wish that they sit at the right and left hands of Jesus when His kingdom comes. The throne is the symbol of power. We are familiar with box-office hit “Game of Thrones.” This TV series is about people who are struggling to sit on the Iron Throne of the Seven Kingdom. And just any game, the different characters use various strategies, including deceit and deceptions to capture this throne. Friends and foes are the ones and the same. Enemies turn to be friends, and allies kill each other. If they cannot be on that throne, at least, they can be next to that seat of power.

Why do we want power so much?  It is because, with power, we are in control. When we are in charge, we have this sense of independence and pride. When autonomy is within our grasp, we cannot but feel good about ourselves. The opposite is also true. When we lose control, we feel terrible. Powerlessness is just awful. Thus, the more power we have, the better we feel. However, this is a mere illusion. No matter how powerful we are, we cannot control everything. The mere fact that we are not able to control the desire to possess power is proof how powerless we are.

Knowing well the irony of power, Jesus gives us a solution: be the servant and slave of all. A slave is a person who is under control of somebody else. In a normal situation, to be slaves are dreadful. Yet, when we have power, our decision to be slaves for others can be liberating. Jesus understands that power is not to be acquired, but to be shared. Power is to empower and not to be hoarded. Yet, it is not the same with yielding to fate, powerlessness, and desperation. Pretty the opposite, to serve and empowering others, we need to exercise our power actively. Think of Mother Teresa of Calcutta. She was just a little religious sister who did nothing but dedicated her life for the poor, the abandoned and the dying. She was far from the image of a strong and powerful leader. Yet, because she became the slave of all, she was considered to be one of the most influential and admired persons in the twentieth century. Echoing the words of Her Lord, “God has not called me to be successful. He has called me to be faithful.”

Br. Valentinus Bayuhadi Ruseno, OP

Sell, giv, follow. W/c of these do we find most difficult 2 do 4 Jesus? Nothing is easy if our harts ar only set 4 ourselvs. Giv Jesus a space in ur heart. Evritng wil b easy.

Jesus invites us 2 cleanse our hearts. External cleanliness means nothing if our hearts ar filled w/ sin. How is ur heart 2day? Ask God 2 drive all evils in ur mind & heart away.

There is a hierarchy of values. Attend to the more important than less important ones. God first, d most essential. The rest are necessary but less consequential.

D Holy Spirit 4gives, teaches, protects & sanctifies. Blaspheming against IT is like driving away ur best friend or ur only ally, or taking ur own life. You’re dead! Befriend ur ally. Have eternal life.

Fr. Ramon T. Salibay, O.P.

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