29th Sunday of Ordinary Time

Call to worship

When the Apostles seek their own glory in God’s Kingdom, Jesus reminds them that glory is given only to those who forget about themselves and who are committed to serve others.

  • To the point: When James and John brazenly demand of Jesus, “Teacher, we want you to do for us whatever we ask of you,” they reverse the usual dynamics of the disciple/teacher relationship. By acquiescing with “What do you wish me to do for you? Jesus accepts the role reversal they foist on him. By re­sponding in this way, Jesus reveals another reversal: glory is given not to those who seek to be “first among” others but to those who choose to serve others by giving their lives for them. Out of which reversal do we live?
  • Connecting the Gospel (Mark 10:35-45) to the first reading: These verses from the fourth Song of the Suffering Servant (read on Good Friday) foreshadow the fullness of the servanthood accepted by Jesus on our behalf- he gave his life for us. Because of this self-gift, God glorified him:”he shall see the light in fullness of days.”
  • Connecting the Gospel to our experience: The tendency toward self-promotion is part of our human nature. Jesus teaches us by his own life and ministry that discipleship, however, is not about seeking places of honor but about serving others. And serving others is the only path to real glory.

Centering prayers

The Gospel

(Mark 10: 35-45)

Can you drink the cup that I drink? Whoever wishes
to be great among you will be your servant.

Can we drink of your cup? Can we recognize the sacredness
of every human life — the immigrant, marginalized, trafficked, abandoned?
Can we serve others? Certainly not on our own.
But through you, with you, in you? Yes, with your grace.
Grant us to drink the cup with you,
and become people for others.

The First Reading

(Isaiah 53: 10-11)

Their guilt he shall bear.

Is there any love anywhere that can withstand
the suffering of a loved one? Doesn’t it
offer everything that it has, even surrender life itself
for the good of the one that it loves?
Jesus knew pain, because we know pain.
God could not sit back watching
without coming to be right here with his people.
O God we see your infinite love for us.
Let it change our hearts.

The Second Reading

(Hebrews 4: 14-16)

For we do not have a high priest who is unable
to sympathize with our weaknesses.

We count on you, always longing for your mercy and grace,
yet always certain of your love.
Jesus, you share our life.
Having been tested as we are,
you have come to live in our weakness,
and you know us better than we know ourselves.
Grant us your grace every
minute of every day of our lives.
And hold us dear in your heart.

Copyright © 2021, Anne M. Osdieck

Music for reflection