8th Week in Ordinary Time
Sirach 36:1, 4-5, 10-17; Psalm 79:8-9, 11, 13;Mark 10:32-45
“The Son of Man did not come to be served but to serve.” (Mark 10:45)
We’ve all read fairy tales about a baker or a woodsman or a rash widow who was granted three wishes and squandered all three of them on silly things. And we’ve all thought: “My first wish would be to have an unlimited number of wishes!”
This is the kind of mentality that stands behind James and John’s request: “Teacher, we want you to do for us whatever we ask of you” (Mark 10:35). It’s as if they were treating Jesus like an all-purpose appliance whose sole purpose was to do their bidding.
When Jesus challenges them, they quickly claim to be willing to pay the price for the honor they seek. But they seem to have no idea what “drinking the cup” entailed.
How easy it can be to approach Jesus in the Eucharist in the same way—with a list of sins we want forgiven and favors we want granted, but with little sense of being connected to him. Such an approach may honor Jesus as all-powerful and all-loving, but it still misses the mark. Perhaps we would do better to ask how he approaches us.
“The Son of man did not come to be served but to serve and to give his life as a ransom for many” (Mark 10:45). At Mass, Jesus is the victim whose body is broken for us. In Confession, he bends down and washes our feet. In prayer, his relentless gaze exposes our deepest needs, as his open, wounded hands reach out to us, ready to fill us with grace. In every challenging situation, he stands before us, inviting us to take up our cross and follow him on the road of trust and obedience.
Instead of coming to Mass with a list of petitions or asking Jesus to fill you with blessings, try to come to him as he comes to you. Offer him your life: the work you did last week, your talents, your accomplishments, and, yes, your fears and needs. Hand it all over to him. Then watch as Jesus takes your life—and gives it back to you, filled with his grace.
“Jesus, help me to empty myself and lay my life at your feet. Lord, I want to be a fellow servant with you in the household of faith.”~wau