As we begin to approach the end of this Liturgical Year and the conclusion of the Gospel of Saint Mark, we move beyond the question of “what must I do to inherit eternal life?” to “where shall I sit in the Kingdom?” For the disciples who witnessed the encounter of Jesus with the man with many possessions (Mk 10:17-30) and the lack of detachment from earthly possessions, they are now confronted with a challenge to be detached from earthly power (Mk 10:35-45). James and John, the brothers, are ambitious and less than humble in their desires. Confident that they can share in the “same cup and baptism” as Jesus (from which they initially run away), and arousing the disdain of the other apostles, they are each given a lesson in true leadership and servanthood. Our attachment to the values of the Kingdom, and our willingness to allow our lives to be spent for the coming of the Kingdom, teach us that true “greatness” comes from o” ering service and not from expecting to be served.
O God, who have taught the ministers of your Church to seek not to be served, but to serve their brothers and sisters, grant we pray that they may be e! ective in action, gentle in ministry and constant in prayer.
On Monday, the Synod of Bishops begins its third (and final) week. It is a special time of prayer for those who have gathered with the Holy Father to discern the call of the Holy Spirit as the Church ponders what pastoral strategies might be helpful in ministering to its children who find themselves in unique situations. I suspect, as from past Synods that there may be a document, voted upon by all present, and accepted by Pope Francis, by the end of the week.
May the week ahead be filled with countless graces and blessings!