Homilette for Wedenday, May 28, 2008

Wednesday of the Eighth Week in Ordinary Time

(Mark 10:32-45)

The gospel describes the disciples as “amazed” and some of them as “afraid” as Jesus sets his sights on Jerusalem. These are probably the many men and women who accompanied Jesus in a kind of traveling school of discipleship. They are, no doubt, traumatized because they know that nothing but ill awaits Jesus in the center of Jewish triumphalism. We might be amazed as well at the obtuseness of the Twelve disciples who make up Jesus’ closest confidantes. As Jesus is facing the supreme crisis, at least two of them have the brazenness to jockey for the highest positions of glory.

We may also be amazed at what some fellow Catholics are doing. Teens, once confirmed, often leave church behind. Catholic mothers have live-in lovers. Veteran Catholics blithely miss Sunday Mass to recreate with the family. “Have the commandments been changed?” we may wonder.

Jesus would answer, “No.” There is no justification for such practices. When he calls his disciples to serve one another, Jesus intends that all of us sacrifice individual autonomy to achieve divine authenticity. That is, rather than doing what pleases us personally, we are to imitate Jesus’ service for others’ salvation. It is a hard message for many, but it is the only way to true glory.