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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

4th Sunday of the Year, A

Advertising has taken on a very important place in business and it has an impact on our daily life, there is no doubt about it.
Newspapers are filled with ads of all kinds, and our TV programmes are interrupted by much publicity that we could do without!
As for the web, it offers a constant flow of things to buy, programmes to join in, clubs to be part of, etc.

What all these have in common is that they describe in a very positive way what they offer. They present a glossy picture of what they want us to choose, to obtain, to adopt.

Those who design the ads, entice us to see things from their point of view and they aim at convincing us that, if we want to be happy, yes, really happy, there is no other way but to take on what is on display!

On this Sunday (4th of the Year, A) we see Jesus, early on in his life of teaching the crowds. In today’s gospel (Mt.5:1-12), we hear him address the people about that very topic: HAPPINESS. But his words do not describe an appealing picture of what will provide happiness. His speech does not resemble in any way what we are used to when someone wants to have us take on his ways!

Who are the happy people according to Jesus?

  • « The poor in spirit,
  • the gentle,
  • those who mourn,
  • those who hunger and thirst for justice,
  • the merciful,
  • the pure in heart,
  • the peacemakers,
  • those persecuted in the cause of right. »

The standard definition of happiness is definitely NOT this one!
Fame, riches, power, are most often part of a description of the happy life, not deprivation and persecution.

But then, perhaps our standard needs to be corrected…
Perhaps our values need to be readjusted…
Perhaps our search for happiness needs to be given a new direction…
Perhaps our way of life needs to be more attuned to Jesus’ message… perhaps…

Today may be a good day to start doing that!
And, ‘by the way’ happiness may just find us… in HIS way!

Source: Images: www.dreamstime.com;  Pinterest