Sunday, October 21, 2012

Slave of All

Slave of All

October 21, 2012

Twenty-ninth Sunday in Ordinary Time 2012 B

By Rev. Joe McCloskey, SJ

The LORD was pleased to crush him in infirmity.  If he gives his life as an offering for sin, he shall see his descendants in a long life, and the will of the LORD shall be accomplished through him.  Because of his affliction he shall see the light in fullness of days; through his suffering, my servant shall justify many, and their guilt he shall bear.  Isaiah 53:10-11

Since we have a great high priest who has passed through the heavens, Jesus, the Son of God, let us hold fast to our confession.  For we do not have a high priest who is unable to sympathize with our weaknesses, but one who has similarly been tested in every way, yet without sin.  So let us confidently approach the throne of grace to receive mercy and to find grace for timely help.  Hebrews 4:14-16

"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."  Mark 10:42b-45


Piety is how we share in the greatness of the Lord.  The rule for greatness is service.  How we serve one another is the perfection of our piety.  We look at Christ who came to serve rather than to be served.  How we love our brothers and sisters is how we find the greatness of Christ for ourselves.  Christ sympathizes with our weaknesses as one who has been tested in every way, without sin.  Piety allows us to approach the throne of grace to receive mercy and to find grace.  Piety is our claim on the help of the Lord.  Thus we trust in the help of the Lord.


James and John asked for the privileged seats on the right and the left of the throne of the Lord.  God has those seats planned for those special people whose lives brought redemption to the people who lived their lives in the needs that Christ would have us do something about.  The young lady who was badly wounded for wanting education for the women of our world is such a person worthy of the reward of being close to Christ forever.  The world was galvanized by her heroic example of doing what was right for the sake of others.  The people who would refuse education to anyone in the world are not worthy of the kingdom of  heaven.   How we would risk our lives for the sake of the needy is the best of all the actions of life because it is the willingness to offer one’s life for others.  No greater love has anyone that the one who offers their life for another.


The baptism with which Christ is baptized is there for the taking.  Giving our time and energy to a worthy cause is how we become men and women for others.  We approach the throne of grace confidently to receive mercy and to find the help to give our lives for others.   Prayer, fasting and good works are how we become the energy of God’s love in the world.  As we work to have the same mind and heart of Jesus in the ordinary dealing of our lives, we find the voice of the poor speaking in our lives as the voice of Christ when we do what we can for the needs of others.  Our good actions reflect how we put our trust in the Lord.  Our true greatness will consist in our self-sacrifice.  Our lives will reflect the greatness of the Father whose love is seen in his mercy on us.  The most significant actions of our lives will be in the ways our lives are given as an offering for sin.  Even as Christ gave his offering of his life for the forgiveness of sin, we become an extension of his love when we take on by the offering of our lives, the sinfulness of our world.

No comments: