29th Sunday in Ordinary Time – Oct. 17, 2021

29B21.     Isaiah 53:10-11.  “The Lord was pleased to crush him in infirmity.”  “If he gives his life as an offering for sin,” “the will of the Lord shall be accomplished through him.”  “Through his suffering, my servant shall justify many, and their guilt he shall bear.”  We do not know about whom this was originally written.  However, clearly the Church places this selection here as a prophetic reference to the suffering Jesus.   Christianity places a positive value on suffering in our redemptive plan.

Mark 10:35-45.  “James and John, the sons of Zebedee,” said to Jesus, “Grant that in your glory we may sit one at your right and the other at your left.”  Jesus makes it clear that to sit with him in his glory requires that one drinks the cup of suffering or undergoes the baptism of the fire of painful hardship.  Jesus assures them that one day they would have to endure the pain that he would later suffer.  The other Apostles were indignant that James and John were attempting to make a ‘power grab’.  Jesus makes it clear to them all that he was not about seeking worldly power but rather in bringing us to be servants of the God who is love.  “For the Son of Man did not come to be served but to serve and to give his life as a ransom for many.”  Loving is to love “in the good times and in the bad” and never to “lord it over”others.  Greatness means to be holy in the eyes of God which often means to be lowly in the eyes of this world.

Hebrews 4:14-16. Jesus in his humanity was as vulnerable as we are, so that life was just as much a test, trial or challenge as it is for us.  For that reason in Jesus we have a mediator between us and God the Father who can truly “sympathize with our weaknesses.” “So let us confidently approach the throne of grace to receive mercy and to find grace for timely help.”  Accepting that we are weak so that we may live in the power of God will enable us to arrive to heaven.