WSC Reflection for October 17, 2021

29th Sunday in Ordinary Time (Cycle B, Year I)

Community Word: The Kingdom of God is for those who obey His commandment of love.
Theme: We obey God’s commandment of love when we wholeheartedly serve, not counting the cost.
Promise: “If he gives his life as an offering……the will of the Lord shall be accomplished through him,” (Is 53:10b).

In today’s gospel, we find two of Jesus’ disciples, James and John, being rebuked by the other disciples because of what they see as misplaced ambition of these brothers who were thinking only of personal reward and distinction. They are thinking of personal glory without sacrifice by asking Jesus for privileged places beside Him in His kingdom. In short, in their being ambitious, they have the wrong concept of greatness. Jesus takes this opportunity to teach them the true meaning of greatness by telling them who He is – “For the Son of Man did not come to be served but to serve and to give his life as a ransom for many,” (Mk 10:45). Being great is not about lording over with authority, but to be slave and servant of all.

Jesus lived His whole life as servant to others and He lived to serve not to be served, even if He is the Son of God. He served by inspiring people with His words of truth and encouragement. He ministered to them through His healing miracles. He fully identified with them through His temptations. As our Master-Teacher, He wants us to learn much from His suffering and from being a servant. He teaches that humble service can motivate us to be true disciples – “Whoever wishes to be great among you will be your servant; whoever wishes to be first among you will be the slave of all,” (Mk 10:43).

Unfortunately, many are not interested in being servants. Their thoughts, actions and even their prayers are centered on simply fulfilling ones desires. They want to stay in power, retain their authority, and sustain their selfish ambition, thinking that they are better and more qualified than others. We must not fall into the trap of Satan who feeds us with lies; he promotes pride and not humility. St. Paul cautions us, “Do nothing out of selfish ambition or vain conceit. Rather, in humility value others above yourselves, not looking to your own interests but each of you to the interests of the others,” (Phil 2: 3-4).

To be truly great in the eyes of God, Jesus tells us to be “servant of all,” to sacrifice and serve others. This means we go out of our comfort zones and be His real missionaries to serve inside and outside of community without reservations and counting the cost. He urges us to go out to the mission areas to proclaim the gospel and to help those who are in need. Jesus encourages us to suffer with and for Him in order to achieve greatness in the Kingdom of God. To be great is to serve the flock of Christ, following His call to “feed my sheep,” (cf. Jn 21:17).

Next Sunday is World Mission Sunday. We honor and pray for those who have left the comfort of their homes to be missionaries here and abroad. Their sacrifices deserved to be recognized and their examples of emboldened faith be emulated. We pray for their safety and success in their missionary endeavors, especially for those who are in difficult situations. For us who are called to our own vocations in life, we are also missionaries by virtue of our baptism. We have the responsibility to be witnesses to the love of Christ in our lives and to spread that love to others by the sharing of our time, talent and treasures.

Greatness is not about power and authority. It is about fulfilling one’s responsibility with love and fidelity. Greatness is to be able to make a difference in the life of other people by our ability to serve them and being open to help those in need. True service is bearing our own burden and that of our neighbor without complaining and expecting anything in return, but doing it with loving dedication in the name of Jesus, our model of greatness. His greatest service is doing God’s will for mankind and giving His own life as a ransom for all. Jesus gives us this assurance, “If he gives his life as an offering……the will of the Lord shall be accomplished through him,” (Is 53:10b).

Heavenly Father, teach and guide me to be humble at all times. Grant me the grace to surrender all of my selfish ambitions. I want to be like your Son, Jesus, to serve & not to be served. Fill me with Your Holy Spirit to be Your instrument of love, mercy, compassion & generosity to others especially in the mission areas. Amen.

Reflection Questions:

  1. What are the obstacles that hinder you to serve in the mission areas? How do you intend to overcome these obstacles?
  2. Are you willing to give up your personal ambition in exchange of loving & serving God & others faithfully?

This Week’s Daily Mass Reading Guide:
October 17, 2021 (Sun) – Is 53:10-11/ Ps 33:4-5, 18-19, 20, 22/ Heb 4:14-16/ Mk 10:35-45
October 18, 2021 (Mon) – 2 Tim 4:10-17b/ Ps 145/ Lk 10:1-9
October 19, 2021 (Tue) – Rom 5:12, 15, 17-19, 20-21/ Ps 40:7-8, 8-9, 10, 17/ Lk 12:35-38
October 20, 2021 (Wed) – Rom 6:12-18/ Ps 124:1-3, 4-6, 7-8/ Lk 12:39-48
October 21, 2021 (Thurs) – Rom 6:19-23/ Ps 1:1-2, 3, 4, 6/ Lk 12:49-53
October 22, 2021 (Fri) – Rom 7:18-25/ Ps 119:66, 68, 76, 77, 93, 94/ Lk 12:54-59
October 23, 2021 (Sat) – Rom 8:1-11/ Ps 24:1-2, 3-4, 5-6/ Lk 13:1-9

“Ignorance of the Bible is ignorance of Christ. Read your Bible daily!”


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