News from St Mary the Virgin, Kenton on Saturday 16th and Sunday 17th October 2021: The Twenty-ninth Sunday in Ordinary Time
If there was ever any doubt that the twelve apostles were chosen by Jesus because they possessed special qualities, the Good News in the Gospel according to Mark shows that even they succumbed to everyday human desires. This particular extract (Mark 10: 35-45) recounts a conversation as Jesus, with his disciples, heads towards Jerusalem for the period that we celebrate in Holy Week. James and John ask Jesus for a favour: “Allow us to sit one at your right hand and one at your left in your glory.” Perhaps we should not be shocked that they are asking, after all that is what many would strive for in our secular world. To be 'top of tree', the one who is in charge. Jesus is not surprised by their request, but calmly explains that: “these are not mine to grant: they belong to those to whom they have been allotted.”
Needless to say, the other disciples get rather annoyed at James and John for asking. Perhaps they too would have asked, if they had thought about it first? Remember when you were 'picking teams in the school playground' and two captains were chosen, and they had to pick their teams. How good it felt if you were picked first. Jesus then continues to explain to all the disciples: “anyone who wants to become great among you must be your servant, and anyone who wants to be first among you must be slave to all. For the Son of Man himself did not come to be served but to serve, and to give his life as a ransom for many.” There are many examples of selfless sacrifice around the world, but unfortunately they don't make the media headlines. People who have taken on board the commission of service to others, above and beyond the desire for personal ambition.
The first Mass of Sunday is on Saturday 16th October at 6.00pm. Parish Mass is on Sunday 17th October at 10.30am. On Monday 18th, we celebrate the feast of Saint Luke, the Evangelist (one of the four Gospel writers). He is the Patron Saint of Doctors and Physicians (and all Health-care workers). If we are looking for those in our society who are devoting themselves to serve, and not to be served then we need look no further than those who have put themselves at risk on the front-line throughout the Covid pandemic, and devote every day of their working lives in the service of others.