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29th Sunday of Year B – 2021

To render a service to someone, most of us would be ready to do so.
But, to put oneself at the service of others… this is another proposition altogether!
And this is precisely what the Lord asks of us!

The gospel text of this Sunday (Mark 10:35-45) is quite clear about it:

“Whoever wants to become great among you must be your servant, 
and whoever wants to be first must be slave of all.”
 
To be great, who would not want to be?
To be known as a person of importance, to be famous, to have power and influence over people –
this is what so many people are struggling for, even… fighting for!

Strange how people nowadays are so much like the apostles of Jesus, 21 centuries ago!
They wanted places of honor in the kingdom to come!

But becoming a servant, even a slave, who would choose such a way of life?
Perhaps the question should not be ‘who’ but ‘WHY’ should someone make such a choice?

The answer, again, is given by Jesus himself:
“For even the Son of Man did not come to be served, but to serve, 

and to give his life as a ransom for many.”
 
The way of Christ, the way of a Christian…
Obviously, it is not a path easy to follow,
but it is definitely a path where we are sure that the Lord walks with us all along the way as it is… HIS way!

 

Note: Another reflection is available on a different theme in French at: https://image-i-nations.com/29e-dimanche-de-lannee-b-2021/

 

Source: Image: Prayers Room

25th Sunday of Year B

Many of the gospel texts are well known to us – we know the stories; we know the people and the facts.
We remember the parables and their message.
The words of Jesus, at least many of them, echo in our memories.
Yet, I wonder if, at times, some important detail does not escape our notice.
This question came to me after reading the text of this Sunday’s gospel (25th Sunday of Year B – Mk.9:31-37).

This scene shows us the apostles who need to be corrected and Jesus is intent on doing so –
He will correct their misguided attitude of competing with one another, showing off,
trying to be seen as more important than the other next to them.

A lesson on being the servant of one another is what they need, obviously.
Jesus will not fail to teach them this in his own typical manner.
He does so in a surprising way.

“If anyone wants to be first he must make himself last of all and servant of all.
He then took a little child, set him in front of them, put his arms round him…”
 
Another translation says: “He embraced the child…”
This is the detail: the child is important to Jesus, he matters!

There are current social movements with precisely this title:

  • ‘BLACK LIVES MATTER’
  • the corresponding counter current: ‘WHITE LIVES MATTER’.
  • the #metoo = #MoiAussi movement

are all expressions of this deep need within us : we want to matter to other people,
we NEED to be important to other people.

And the good news is that we do matter, we are important to God!
He said it in so many words long ago by his prophet Isaiah:
“You are precious in my eyes… I love you.” (Is.43:4)
 
Perhaps we had forgotten…

Note: Another reflection is available on a different theme in French at: https://image-i-nations.com/25e-dimanche-de-lannee-b/

Source: Image: YouTube