Reflection for the 29th Sunday in Ordinary Time

21 October 2012 - By

What did you do for me?
I served you.

“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.”

Jesus’ disciples came to Him looking for special favors. They wanted to have positions of power, authority, and glory in the kingdom. They even offered to sacrifice a little today if they could have that promise.

Jesus turned the tables on them and used their request to teach them the true message of the kingdom. We aren’t to seek glory, honors, power, and notoriety. Instead, we are to give all we have, even our lives, in service and sacrifice for others. Only then will we come to know the glory of the kingdom. It is a glory where we give completely of ourselves for others. In turn, we are made rich through their giving, serving, and sacrificing for us. Mutual sacrifice is the way of life in the kingdom.

Our first two readings point to the fact that this type of sacrifice, this kind of giving, is not something our Lord and God demand of us as subjects. It is all captured in the key phrase – You know how it is with those who are recognized as rulers…

We do know how it is, right down to this day. Leaders demand obedience, work for personal enrichment, and do favors for “friends” who do favors for them. Money fuels power, and power rewards money.

God came to us, God who has absolute power, glory, and authority, and emptied Himself completely. He was made low, served all, and was completely crushed. In giving His life – He brought us to eternal life. He lost everything so that we might have everything.

The Letter to the Hebrews reminds us that we have a high priest, Jesus, who sympathizes with our weaknesses, because He faced the same weaknesses – facing them without sin.

Because of this there is no barrier between us and the ultimate power, authority, and glory of God. We may fully and confidently approach the throne of grace, because God will lower Himself from that throne to lift us up. He will serve us, heal us, have mercy on us, forgive us, wash our feet and feed us. He will do it all for us because we are worth that much to Him.

We must follow His example, and lower ourselves, serving and lifting others in sacrificial love.

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