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Outrageously Happy

Anyone among you who aspires to greatness must serve the rest; whoever wants to rank first among you must serve the needs of all
Mark 10:35-45 or 10:42-45

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Sermon Week Twenty-Ninth Sunday in Ordinary Time Cycle B

Scripture Summary Mark 10:43-44


To the Church at Philippi, Paul wrote these words:

Your attitude must be that of Christ. Though He was in the form of God, He did not deem equality with God something to be grasped at. Rather He emptied Himself and took the form of a servant... obediently accepting even death, death on a Cross! Because of this, God highly exalted Him (Phil. 2:6-9).

It is through servanthood that Jesus became Lord. It was only after Jesus' death that the disciples began to understand this. And it was even more difficult for them to understand Jesus' teaching that they were called to be servants also.

Throughout the Gospels there is evidence of a power play going on among the twelve disciples -- each one wanting to rise to the top, each one wanting special position and special privilege.

In today's Lesson from Mark's Gospel, James and John ask for special positions, the top spots among the group. In Matthew's Gospel we are told that it wasn't James and John who approached Jesus, but their mother.

Can't you just hear the conversation? "My boys would be so upset if they knew that I was here. But I just don't think you understand how talented they are. I want to be sure you're making the right plans for them. When you take over as King, one could be your Secretary of State; the other Secretary of the Treasury. I just want to be sure you appreciate them and will take care of them."

Jesus responds, saying, "Anyone among you who aspires to greatness must serve the rest; whoever wants to rank first among you must serve the needs of all. The Son of Man has not come to be served but to serve." (Mk. 10:43-95).

But they didn't understand. So He came to the last night of His life, knelt down and, taking a towel and a basin, washed the disciples feet. On this last night with His disciples, His last opportunity to teach them, He knelt down and performed an act of servanthood.

"You shall be My witnesses to the end [...]

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