Monday, October 19, 2009

Discipleship means Suffering

The Gospel reading yesterday was Mark 10: 35-45.

Zebedee's sons, James and John, approached him. "Teacher," they said, "we want you to grant our request." "What is it?" he asked. They replied, "See to it that we sit, one at your right and the other at your left, when you come into your glory." Jesus told them, "You do not know what you are asking. Can you drink the cup I shall drink or be baptized in the same bath of pain as I?" "We can," they told him. Jesus said in response, "From the cup I drink of you shall drink; the bath I am immersed in you shall share. But as for sitting at my right or my left, that is not mine to give; it is for those to whom it has been reserved." The other ten, on hearing this, became indignant at James and John. Jesus called them together and said to them: "You know how among the Gentiles those who seem to exercise authority lord it over them; their great ones make their importance felt. It cannot be like that with you. Anyone among you who aspires to greatness must serve the rest; whoever wants to rank first among you must serve the needs of all. The Son of Man has not come to be served but to serve -- to give his life in ransom for the many."

Father gave an excellent homily on this, stressing that discipleship costs, that following Jesus is not going to be easy, that preaching the Gospel will not bring fame or riches but rather infamy, ignominy, and suffering. He talked a bit about worldly power and how it is exercised, and closed his homily by slowly and distinctly repeating:

"It cannot be like that with you."

During and after the homily I had a few random thoughts:

1, I'm more grateful than I can say that I never had to exercise power over anyone.

2, I wonder if the CINO's in the present administration paid heed to this reading.

3, John was the only Apostle to die a natural death, and I wonder if it bothered him to wait so long to be reunited.

3, Even though the etymologies are very different, why do "martyred" and "murdered" sound so much alike?

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