This weekend we celebrate the Twenty-Ninth Sunday in Ordinary Time. In today’s Gospel passage, James and John are pretty bold. They want Jesus to do whatever they ask of him. In their audacity, they say, “Grant that in your glory we may sit one at your right and the other at your left.” Jesus tells them they do not know what they are asking. The same is true of us. Sometimes we may not realize what we are asking of God or of others. We only realize it after we experience the responsibilities, suffering, consequences, reactions of others, etc. that we begin to understand what we bargained for. Whether it is a pay raise, a “higher” position in our place of employment, “chairing” a committee, board, or organization, running for class officer or public office, praying for another to be relieved of pain or suffering, or asking God for any number of favors, there are always underlying layers of responsibility we do not initially understand or consider. In response to James and John’s request, Jesus asks something of them: “Can you drink the cup that I drink or be baptized with the baptism with which I am baptized?” When they say yes, he assures them that it will happen but informs them that the places on his right or left are not his to give because those places are for those for whom they had been prepared. As the other disciples become indignant at James and John, Jesus gives all of them a lesson in what it means to be great and first among all: it is to be servant. Whoever wishes to be great among you will be your servant…The Son of Man did not come to be served but to serve and to give his life as a ransom for many. As we reflect upon the Gospel this week, let us recall a time when we made a request, were given a favorable response, and only later realized what we were really asking. Let us also think about how our understanding of what it means to serve God and the Church has grown or changed.
I encourage all to attend and support the following upcoming events in our parish:
The Open House with refreshments after each Mass this weekend at the Parish Youth & Activities Center, celebrating the Feast of Saint John Paul II
The Annual Fall Craft & Vendor Bazaar Saturday, October 27, from 9:00 AM – 3:00 PM in the Parish Center with Mexican Lunch, Bake Sale, Raffle, Crafts, etc. and the “Christmas Room”
The “Thanksgiving” Harvest Potluck Dinner on Saturday, November 10, following 4:00 PM Mass with dinner served approximately 5:45 PM. Sign-up sheets are in church.
Blessings on your week!
Sister Chris Gretka, CSJ