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Is Anybody Listening?

If anyone wishes to rank first, he must remain the last one of all and the servant of all
Mark 9:30-37

Sermon Topic Listening

Sermon Week Twenty-Fifth Sunday in Ordinary Time Cycle B

Scripture Summary Mark 9:35


For Jesus Christ, the secret of His life was in His passionate, joyful, expectant, unconditional giving of Himself to the Will of God. At every moment of His life, in every experience, He gave Himself unconditionally in obedience to the Will of God.

When Jesus was twelve years old in the Temple, He seemed so surprised that His parents didn't understand this. "Why did you search for Me?" he asked. "Did you not know I had to be in My Father's house?" (Lk. 2:49). From then on, you can trace this commitment like a golden thread through the Gospels. This total giving of Himself to God was the secret of His life and His power and His influence. In today's Gospel Lesson, His fidelity to God's Will is coming to its climax. Jesus says to the disciples, "The Son of Man is going to be delivered into the hands of men who will put Him to death; three days after His death He will rise" (Mk. 9:31). The disciples did not understand, Mark tells us. Earlier Mark had told us that the disciples not only couldn't understand why Jesus would have to be executed, they didn't want to believe it would happen. When Peter began to protest against this kind of talk, Jesus reprimanded him in the strongest terms: "Get out of my sight, you satan! You are not judging by God's standards but by man's" (Mk. 8:33).

In today's Lesson, Jesus gets more specific. He tells the disciples that according to God's standards, "If anyone wishes to rank first, he must remain the last one of all and the servant of all" (Mk. 9:35). It was God's Will that His love for mankind be revealed to the ultimate degree in and through His Son, Jesus Christ. In obedience to God's Will, Jesus emptied Himself totally, served Himself up to us on the Cross, gave His life for us, willingly. Jesus on the Cross is God saying to us, "Now do you believe? Now can you see how much I love you?"

Those of us who have identified with Jesus [...]

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