29th Sunday in Ordinary Time Year B - 21/10/2018 - Gospel: Mk 10: 35-45
We all have ambitions. Not all ambitions are good: some are good and others are selfish. There is a valuable lesson we can learn from the two brothers: James and John in today's reading. The brothers wanted favoured positions: one sat on Jesus' right and one sat on Jesus' left when Jesus entered his kingdom. The arguments amongst other Apostles told us that they were all sharing the same dream about sitting next to Jesus in his kingdom. The ideas was not that they loved Jesus as much that they wanted to be seated next to him but it was more about the worldly way of thinking. What made them believed that their Master, Jesus, who would win over his opponents when Jesus himself three times told them about the suffering and death he must endure? We don't know.  They heard Jesus talked about the suffering and pain he had to go through and probably had focused upon that

'After three days to rise again' Mark 8:31, 9:31, 10:34. 

They placed their confidence in Jesus' victory. In the mind of their Master, Jesus who was thinking of his trial, suffering, death, and resurrection while in contrast, in the minds of his apostles they were thinking more about the glory and power and the victory of Jesus. They didn't understand what they were asking for and what a "rising from the dead" meant. Mk 9,10. They underestimated the meanings of the "cup" of suffering and death Jesus must drink. The cup that Jesus was frightened of, every time he talked about it and they answered Jesus that they could take that cup. Jesus was afraid and even asked the Father to remove it for him if it pleased the Father but Jesus would obey the will of the Father as his first choice (14:36)

In correcting the apostles' ambitions Jesus told them that greatness in God's eyes was quite different from the way the world understood.

'Among the pagans their so called rulers lord it over them, and their great men make their authority felt. This is not happen among you. No, anyone who wants to become great among you must be your servant' Mk 10,43-44.

Greatness in God's eyes was defined by providing service for others. Greatness in God's eyes was measured in service, in dedicating our times, gifts and talents for the sake of others. The way of the world tends to define greatness in terms of power, privilege recognition. What makes us great is our ability to invest our lives for the welfare of others. Jesus talked not just about greatness but he himself showed it to them by serving them and died for others. Through his death and resurrection Jesus frees those who follow his way from evil power and from selfish ambitions and restored them from harm to God's love and mercy. The death and resurrection of Jesus gives people a choice from a social and political power that human beings employ to control each other. It further delivers us from the power of darkness and sin that enslaves the world and to embrace God's purposes (1:23-24; 3:27). And finally his resurrection had defeated the power of death itself to give us eternal life.

'Jesus came not to be served but to serve' and that is the model for us all to learn from.