Daily Gospel Reflection – Twenty-ninth Sunday in Ordinary Time

Daily Gospel Reflection – Twenty-ninth Sunday in Ordinary Time

Daily Gospel Reflection – Twenty-ninth Sunday in Ordinary Time 

Friends, power and honor, in and of themselves, are not a bad thing, but we wreak havoc when we ask for them in the wrong spirit. When we beseech the Lord with our desires, let us ask for what God wants for us rather than what our egos have determined to be good. 


October 17, 2021 
Twenty-ninth Sunday in Ordinary Time 
Gospel: Mk 10:35-45 

James and John, the sons of Zebedee, came to Jesus and said to him, "Teacher, we want you to do for us whatever we ask of you." He replied, "What do you wish me to do for you?" They answered him, "Grant that in your glory we may sit one at your right and the other at your left." Jesus said to them, "You do not know what you are asking. Can you drink the cup that I drink or be baptized with the baptism with which I am baptized?" They said to him, "We can." Jesus said to them, "The cup that I drink, you will drink, and with the baptism with which I am baptized, you will be baptized; but to sit at my right or at my left is not mine to give but is for those for whom it has been prepared." When the ten heard this, they became indignant at James and John. Jesus summoned them and said to them, "You know that those who are recognized as rulers over the Gentiles lord it over them, and their great ones make their authority over them felt. But it shall not be so among you. Rather, whoever wishes to be great among you will be your servant; whoever wishes to be first among you will be the slave of all. For the Son of Man did not come to be served but to serve and to give his life as a ransom for many." 

Source: United States Conference of Catholic Bishops 

Bishop Robert Barron

Friends, in today’s Gospel, James and John ask Jesus to place them in high places in his kingdom. They are asking for two of the classic four substitutes for God: wealth, pleasure, power, and honor, specifically for the last two. Power is not, in itself, a bad thing. And the same is true of honor. Thomas Aquinas said that honor is the flag of virtue. It’s a way of signaling to others something that’s worth noticing. 

So, what’s the problem? The problem is that they are asking for these two things in the wrong spirit. The ego will want to use power, not for God’s purposes or in service of truth, beauty, and goodness, but for its own aggrandizement and defense. When honor is sought for its own sake or in order to puff up the ego, it becomes dangerous as well.

So what’s the way out? "Whoever wishes to be great among you will be your servant; whoever wishes to be first among you will be the slave of all." When you serve others; when you become the least, you are accessing the power of God and you are seeking the honor of God.

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Daily Gospel Reflection – Twenty-ninth Sunday in Ordinary Time
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