SERMON OF THE WEEK - August 19, 2012
- SERMON OF THE WEEK - August 19, 2012
Today is the first Sunday after the Feast of the Assumption of St. Mary. Gospel reading for Sunday is from Mark 10:35-45.
In the gospel, Jesus tells his disciples: "Whoever desires to become "great" among you shall be your "servant". Whoever of you desireth to be the first shall be slave of all. For even the Son of Man did not come to be served, but to serve, and to give His life a ransom for many." - Mark 10:43-45.
We read in the gospel that the apostles argued over who would be the greatest in heaven. Apostles James and John, two brothers, asked Jesus as to who would be the greatest in heaven, implying they should be the ones. Jesus admonishes them not to confuse with this thought. Apparently they didn't heed. What James and John did was to go behind other disciples' back to get Jesus promise them the best spots in heaven.
Apostles James and John have tried to get Jesus to agree to do for them what they wanted. The other ten apostles were outraged over this. They didn't like what the two brothers did. They didn't like to two going behind their back to gain personal favors. It seems not all was well within the group. They did not get along and there was infighting that was not reported.
Jesus, however, uses the opportunity to repeat his earlier teaching that if a person wants to be great must behave to be "humble", serving others and putting others ahead of his own needs and desires. James and John are being rebuked for seeking for their own glory, and other ten also being rebuked for being jealous of the two brothers' desires.
The same bad character traits are being displayed everywhere today, just in different methods and forms. This is the occasion where Jesus is talking about our obsession with the desire for status and power. Jesus is speaking of the "loaves of Herod" - the idea that in the traditional political world, everything is about power and authority. With Jesus, however, it's all abut service and ministering.
Just like the disciples, we have a lot t learn from Jesus. We are to humble ourselves and put others first. We can go to God in prayer for the strength and deire to do so. This will be pleasing to God. We will serve our Lord by serving others. It's by devoting our life to our Lord by denying ourselves and giving ourselves for the glory of our Lord.
Prepared by: Rev. Dr. V. Kurian Thomas, Valiyaparambil