READINGS for 2008-05-28
“You know that those who are recognized as rulers... lord it over them...” – Mark 10:42
One cold December evening, I had the opportunity to be in the company of rural folks in a remote mountain village. My family and I had a great time with these people as we shared about the Lord and His love, and our laughter and pains.
There were a number of stories from these poor people that struck my heart. Common in their experiences was the lack of love they felt from people who came from the city to share the Gospel with them. These people called themselves servants of the Lord” but the poor rural folks couldn’t reconcile their words with their action.
These so-called servants made their authority felt (Mark 10:42b). The locals just had to follow whatever they would tell them to do. Their leaders were aloof towards the rural folks and would eat separately whenever they came to their village. “We just don’t see them doing what they’re teaching us,” the locals commented.
In today’s Gospel, we are reminded “not to lord it over those assigned to you, but be examples to the flock” (1 Peter 5:3). Let us take Jesus’ example of servant-leadership. “Whoever wishes to be first among you must be the slave of all” (Mark10:44).Danny Tariman
Are you the “servant” who really serves or a “servant” who commands?
Lord, grant me the grace to genuinely serve You and Your people with humility.
Truth alone can truly purify us from the residue of sin that clings to our hearts after we have repented. We need to immerse ourselves in this truth in order to be renewed according to the mind and heart of God. Only truth can set us free from our attachments to this world which lead to death and not a happy and fulfilled life.
1 Peter 1:18-25
18 Realize that you were ransomed from your futile conduct, handed on by your ancestors, not with perishable things like silver or gold 19 but with the precious blood of Christ as of a spotless unblemished lamb. 20 He was known before the foundation of the world but revealed in the final time for you, 21 who through him believe in God who raised him from the dead and gave him glory, so that your faith and hope are in God. 22 Since you have purified yourselves by obedience to the truth for sincere mutual love, love one another intensely from a [pure] heart. 23 You have been born anew, not from perishable but from imperishable seed, through the living and abiding word of God, 24 for: “All flesh is like grass, and all its glory like the flower of the field; the grass withers, and the flower wilts; 25 but the word of the Lord remains forever.” This is the word that has been proclaimed to you.
P S A L M
Psalm 147:12-13, 14-15, 19-20
R: Praise the Lord, Jerusalem.
12 Glorify the LORD, O Jerusalem; praise your God, O Zion. 13 For he has strengthened the bars of your gates; he has blessed your children within you. (R) 14 He has granted peace in your borders; with the best of wheat he fills you. 15 He sends forth his command to the earth; swiftly runs his word! (R) 19 He has proclaimed his word to Jacob, his statutes and his ordinances to Israel. 20 He has not done thus for any other nation; his ordinances he has not made known to them. Alleluia. (R)
G O S P E L
James and John are confronted with the reality of discipleship with the image of the cup of suffering to be drunk. From Jesus’ tone, it is clear that we are dealing with something unpleasant. Jesus welcomes their eager reply but emphasizes that the things they desire — seats at His right and left in heaven — are not for Him to grant. The true disciple of Jesus is not after benefits or rewards for faithfulness. A disciple is concerned only with doing God’s will.
32 The disciples were on the way, going up to Jerusalem, and Jesus went ahead of them. They were amazed, and those who followed were afraid. Taking the Twelve aside again, he began to tell them what was going to happen to him. 33 “Behold, we are going up to Jerusalem, and the Son of Man will be handed over to the chief priests and the scribes, and they will condemn him to death and hand him over to the Gentiles 34 who will mock him, spit upon him, scourge him, and put him to death, but after three days he will rise.” 35 Then James and John, the sons of Zebedee, came to him and said to him, “Teacher, we want you to do for us whatever we ask of you.” 36 He replied, “What do you wish [me] to do for you?” 37 They answered him, “Grant that in your glory we may sit one at your right and the other at your left.” 38 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?” 39 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; 40 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.” 41 When the ten heard this, they became indignant at James and John. 42 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. 43 But it shall not be so among you. Rather, whoever wishes to be great among you will be your servant; 44 whoever wishes to be first among you will be the slave of all. 45 For the Son of Man did not come to be served but to serve and to give his life as a ransom for many.”
think:Am I willing to serve others in the pursuit of discipleship?
God’s special verse/thought for me today________________
T O D A Y ’ S BLESSING LIST
Thank You Lord for: ____________________________________
READ THE BIBLE IN ONE YEAR 2 Samuel 9-12
THE HUMAN FACE OF MINISTRY
In an ordination rite for a new priest, Bishop Soc Villegas of Bataan emphatically reminded the ordained to constantly keep in mind that his priesthood is a path to discipleship, not a road to being a celebrity. His priesthood is a service, not a career. I believe that those words of the Bishop were truly candid exhortations gleaned from experiences of inner personal struggle.
The struggle to keep one’s motivations for ministry truly Christ-centered, and love-powered is as old as the first batch of disciples. Yesterday’s Gospel narrated how Peter, though considered “senior” among the Twelve, faced his own issue of being selfish and rewards-driven. Today we read how the brothers James and John – fellow town mates of Peter – tried to lobby before Jesus for them to be awarded the places of honor at the left and the right of Jesus.
In the face of the human struggle in ministry, Fr. Odon de Castro’s teaching about the need of conversion on various levels makes sense. This elderly priest – seasoned with wisdom coming from years of living a contemplative life – observes that even as we come to embrace “servanthood” for God, we bring along with us the ways and values of the world where we lived and made a living. We strive to be first in performance, we desire to win moments of selection and election, we compete and see each other as rivals. We begin to regard our apostolic organization and ministry areas as new fields to dominate. Fr. Domie Guzman
What are my own struggles with myself in my area of service and ministry?
Lord Jesus, You came to serve and not to be served. Please purify my motives for serving You and teach me Your ways, True Servant of all.
St. Augustine of Canterbury, bishop, pray for us.
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