Reflection on Mark 10:35-45 Twenty-First Sunday after Pentecost: Oct 17, 2021

The Gospel of Mark 10:35-45

James and John, the sons of Zebedee, came forward to Jesus and said to him, “Teacher, we want you to do for us whatever we ask of you.” And he said to them, “What is it you want me to do for you?” And they said to him, “Grant us to sit, one at your right hand and one at your left, in your glory.” But Jesus said to them, “You do not know what you are asking. Are you able to drink the cup that I drink, or be baptized with the baptism that I am baptized with?” They replied, “We are able.” Then 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 hand or at my left is not mine to grant, but it is for those for whom it has been prepared.” When the ten heard this, they began to be angry with James and John. So Jesus called them and said to them, “You know that among the Gentiles those whom they recognize as their rulers lord it over them, and their great ones are tyrants over them. But it is not so among you; but whoever wishes to become great among you must be your servant, and whoever wishes to be first among you must be slave of all. For the Son of Man came not to be served but to serve, and to give his life a ransom for many.”

Let us Pray:

Creator God, you call us to love and serve you with body, mind, and spirit through loving your creation and our sisters and brothers. Open our hearts in compassion and on behalf of the needs of the church and the world. Hear our prayers. Amen.

In today’s world it is a symbol of prestige and power to sit next to the top man at meetings and events. Many are like James and John and want to be right up there where they can be seen, and have the feeling of superiority. The desire for power and status is an inherent longing in most human beings.  Each one of us likes to know that we do have a certain amount of power and status.  Power gives us some control in our lives and other’s lives.  We also have a natural desire for the people in our lives to love us, care for us and admire us.  However, we get in trouble when our desire for power, love or status begins to control us.  Therefore, Jesus sternly warned his disciples. Jesus desires that we serve others rather than to be served. He wants us to use our energy to serve those in need, rather than striving to sit next to the boss, for recognition or for power. This need is so inherent in us human beings that often we do not recognize the subtle ways we strive for power, esteem, or position.  I wonder if our need to serve others is as natural to us as our need and desire for recognition and power.   Today take a few moments and ask yourself: How strong is my need for power and acclaim?  How deep is my need to serve others?  Which need comes first in my life? We ask ourselves now: Why do we aspire to be great, to be popular and to be admired. The answer is no brainer: Many of us simply want to increase our exposure and value, we want to feed our hungry egos. But all of these are self-promotion which does not count in the eyes of the Lord. Jesus’ kingdom is different from the world. For Jesus, influence and promotion come through serving others, not through self-centered methods. But in Jesus’ viewpoint self-centered honor, egotism, and every kind of action for us to be adored and exalted amounts to nothing. Because Jesus himself shunned all of these. What was and still is important for Jesus is to follow the will of God and that is none other than humble service to His people. This eventually led Him to suffer and eventually sacrifice His very own life on the cross.   Serving others does not come naturally to most people, even Christians. We must learn to look to what the Holy Spirit is asking us to do, regardless of the inconvenience, and to the needs of the people around us.

Let us Pray: Today our world needs helping hands to support the refugees that seek a new beginning, we need to provide assistance to those who have been displaced. Now is the time to serve those in need rather than be served. This we ask your help Our Father in Heaven, Amen

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