Jesus gives a third prediction of His coming Passion and warns of great sin of pride. Every Catholic man can grow in happiness by pursuing the Virtue of Humility so he can more fully serve his Lord and Master Jesus Christ and by seeking the Gift of Counsel from the Holy Spirit so he can be guided to more perfectly do God’s Will. 

Liturgy

29th Week of Ordinary Time – Sunday – Cycle B – Mk 10:35-45

Commentary

After forming the Apostles over a period of several years, Jesus leads them towards Jerusalem and His Passion; it is a stressful time that leaves the disciples “amazed” and the crowds “afraid.” Taking the disciples aside, Jesus, with astonishing precision, describes the details of His passion, including His “trial” by the Jewish leaders, the scourging and Crucifixion by the Gentiles and His Resurrection after three days. 

The “Sons of Thunder”, James and John, boldly and disrespectfully demand that Jesus, do “whatever we ask of you.”  Rather than bluntly rebuking them for their ill-timed and disrespectful demand to be glorified (Jesus has just told them He will be killed), He patiently points out their ignorance.  His question about their willingness to sacrifice for His sake is cryptic, a hidden prophecy of His Passion and the Eucharist (the “chalice”) and the anointing of the Holy Spirit (the “baptism”).  Jesus then tells them, though they don’t realize He is revealing the great sacrifice they will make, that they will be baptized with the Holy Spirit (Pentecost) and will indeed suffer as He suffers (James is martyred and John is exiled).   

The 10 other disciples are indignant at James and John’s desire to be honored above them by Christ. Jesus, aware of the bickering, summons the disciples and rebukes their desire for honor. Comparing their desires for glory to the lust for power of the Gentiles, Jesus directs the disciples to instead model their behavior on Him and aspire to be a servant and slave for the salvation of others. 

Be awed by Jesus Christ

Despite forming the Apostles for three years and clearly describing His imminent betrayal, torture and murder, the Apostles selfishly vie for honor and power. Marvel at the response of Jesus: Divine Meekness (a part of Temperance), Jesus responds with merciful Patience rather than righteous anger; Divine Charity, Jesus offers Spiritual Works of Mercy (Admonishing Sinners and Instructing the Ignorant) to gently lead the Apostles to holiness; Divine Humility, Jesus demonstrates and instructs the Apostles on the necessity of growing in humility in order to be received into the Kingdom of Heaven.

Serve your Lord and Master Jesus Christ

Realize: Rather than the common desire of most men of the world, who are filled with pride and desire to have power to rule over and control others, Jesus reveals that His disciples must do the exact opposite, calling them to sacrifice themselves totally by becoming, “slaves to all.” 

Believe: Reflect upon the call to Serve Christ (CCC 160, 358, 786, 1273, 2084, 2096).

Pray: Jesus, Perfection of Humility, help me build the Virtue of Humility (a part of Temperance) so I fully accept the identity and mindset of being Your slave, and I always seek to do Your Will, my Lord and Master. 

Seek the Spirit’s counsel to do God’s Will

Realize: Like James and John’s selfish and confused request for Jesus to honor them, men often become confused and seek to have their own way, even praying to Jesus to ask Him to do their will, instead of submitting themselves to the will of God; every Catholic man should submit their selfish will to the Will of God.

Believe: Reflect upon Christ’s direction in The Lord’s Prayer, Thy Will Be Done…(CCC 2822-2827, 2860).

Pray: Holy Spirit, give me the Gift of Counsel so I more perfectly desire to do God’s will, I hear Your direction for the choices I need to make, and I have the discipline and courage to seek to do God’s Will in all my daily thoughts, words, and deeds.