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29th Sunday of the Year – B  

29th Sunday of the Year – B

 

Dear friends in Christ,

 

One of the consistent themes in Mark’s Gospel is the lack of comprehension of the disciples. Again and again the disciples failed and missed the point. Mark put this remark at the end of his Gospel: “Jesus took the disciples to task for their disbelief and their stubbornness, since they had put no faith in those who had seen him after he had been raised” (16:14).

To better understand today’s gospel, it is important to remember that in the two chapters before this, Jesus had taught and challenged his disciples about the real values of the kingdom: they are to become like children, to be servants, and to take up their cross and follow him. But right after Jesus’ third and most detailed prediction of his passion, James and John placed before him their request for highest places of honor in his reign. They certainly didn’t understand Jesus and their request was offensive.

Meanwhile, the other ten became indignant at the brothers, because they all seemed to have the similar thoughts. So Jesus gathered them together around him and told them once again that the criteria of glory in God’s kingdom was different from that of the world. Success is judged not by how much you can get out of life, but how much you put into it: “Whoever wishes to be great among you will be the servant of all.”

Isaiah in the First Reading speaks of God’s will that the Suffering Servant gives his life as an offering for the sins of the people. The Letter to the Hebrews, the Second Reading, gives a     detailed picture of the Suffering Servant who is Jesus, the Son of God and the High Priest who draws near us and invites us to draw near him.

Christians are blessed to have Jesus show us the true God and how we can best live our lives in imitating him and serving him in one another.

Fr. Joe