Home Community Sunday Gospel Thoughts October 17, 2021, 29th Ordinary Sunday

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  • #1991
    Phrogge
    Keymaster

    — Read the Gospel Passage slowly and prayerfully, perhaps several times over a few days.
    — Let the Story speak to you in your own life, and don’t try to force a meaning, eg, the Story has always meant only such-and-such.
    — Ask “What are you trying to say to me?” in your own life here and now, with whatever is going on in your life.
    — Be ready to be surprised.
    — If you feel comfortable please write your thoughts as a reply using the “submit” button below.

    Gospel
    Mk 10:35-45 or 10:42-45
    James and John, the sons of Zebedee, came to Jesus and said to him,
”Teacher, we want you to do for us whatever we ask of you.” 
He replied, “What do you wish me to do for you?” 
They answered him, “Grant that in your glory
we may sit one at your right and the other at your left.” 
Jesus said to them, “You do not know what you are asking. 
Can you drink the cup that I drink
or be baptized with the baptism with which I am baptized?” 
They said to him, “We can.” 
Jesus said to them, “The cup that I drink, you will drink,
and with the baptism with which I am baptized, you will be baptized;
but to sit at my right or at my left is not mine to give
but is for those for whom it has been prepared.” 
When the ten heard this, they became indignant at James and John. 
Jesus summoned them and said to them,
”You know that those who are recognized as rulers over the Gentiles
lord it over them,
and their great ones make their authority over them felt. 
But it shall not be so among you.
Rather, whoever wishes to be great among you will be your servant;
whoever wishes to be first among you will be the slave of all. 
For the Son of Man did not come to be served
but to serve and to give his life as a ransom for many.”

    #2001
    Carol Munka
    Participant

    For me, Jesus is teaching the disciples (and us) about the importance of humility and serving others. I have found that one of the most important parts of my walk with Christ is in the serving of others. I don’t serve to gain a higher place in Heaven, I serve because I genuinely want to. There is so much good that comes from serving others, especially those who don’t think they deserve it!

    #2026
    Phrogge
    Keymaster

    Since, due to my travel plans I don’t have to prepare any homilies for a few weeks, I can look at this passage maybe differently.

    Jesus criticized his followers who were looking for power. He reminded them that, if they had learned anything from him, they would know that following him was about service, not power and prestige.

    There is a lot going on in the church these days that is all about power. There are a number of bishops, especially in the US, who are openly playing the power game.

    A number of them want to deny certain people communion for a number of reasons, one of which is the persons are not sufficiently against abortion. The Pope has asked them not to do this, but they have publicly ignored and defied him and even now the USCCB are preparing a document to do this.

    Recently a number of them have chosen to ignore, or perhaps even defy, Pope Francis in the matter of the Covid vaccines. Francis has said there are no moral problems in getting the vaccine, and doing so is an act of charity and concern for others. A number of bishops have publicly ignored this and acted against it, including the Archbishop for Military Services.

    The way so many catholics, not just bishops but certainly with the bishops’ support and encouragement, treat our LGBTQ brothers and sisters is totally opposite from how Jesus lived, yet this mistreatment is done allegedly in the name of God. I can bless bombs, rockets, gunships, animals, but not two people of the same sex who love each other. God’s first act of self revelation is creation, so the more we know about creation, the more insight we have into God. I don’t think God is done revealing God’s self yet. We don’t have all the answers, and we don’t get to judge who is or isn’t created in God’s image and likeness.

    Currently Francis calling the whole church to take part in a Synod to look at where the church is and where it is going. He want folks at all levels to have a part in the discussion. Again, in the US a great number of bishops are ignoring his call or giving it faint lip service. It is public knowledge that the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops is a Francis-free zone.
    One of the most serious delicts (crime), on a par with child abuse, a catholic priest can commit is to be in favor of ordaining women as priests. If a priest is publicly in favor of ordaining women, which I am, he can be suspended from priesthood and thrown out of the church without any process.

    The way the clericalist church treats folks whose marriage has failed and who are just looking for, and perhaps have found, love again is a brutal disgrace. Some marriages fail. They may have started out well, but bad things happen to good people for any number of reasons that the clericalist mind just does not grasp, and so the acts of power and control begin. For some folks the annulment process is good, while for others it is painful. There has to be another way. It would seem that a significant number of celibate male church officials really believe they know more about to live a christian life than the folks who are actually living it. This celibate male has at least a glimpse of the reality that I really don’t know much.

    The polarization in our country is happening with the support of a number of bishops, who are definitely encouraging it in the church. Many of the bishops are clearly aligned with a particular party and its reputed leader, and this alignment seems to be the basis or their leadership or lack thereof.

    Francis is calling the church to be like a battle ground field hospital that is working to help the folks deal with the suffering in their lives, just to walk with them. I have served in some of them, and have experienced the kind of care he is talking about. A great number of bishops, especially US bishops, see the church not as a place of healing, but as a system of laws and penalties. As it was in the days of Jesus when the priests told the people if you want to go to God you have to go through us, the bishops of today are saying the same thing.
    In my own life, I am in the very fortunate position of being retired and not in charge of anything. I do not depend on the church for anything, except perhaps the opportunity to help out in parishes, hospitals, and similar places. I am thankful for my active duty Army experience which has afforded me some insight that others might not have. No doubt I look down the alley with my own set of lights. This does not make me better or worse than anyone else, just perhaps unique, a character, so to speak.

    I don’t think there needs to be a separate class of person (clergy). The fact that there is one now is a source of many of the problems in the church, clericalism. As clerics we were taught that ordination makes a person ontologically different. I do not believe this at all. A number of experiences in theArmy convinced me beyond any doubt that this is just not true. We just have a different role in the church, one of gathering and leading folks in prayer. We don’t need a separate caste to do this.

    I believe that Jesus said “I will be with you always”, and “I will send the Spirit to remind you of what I taught you”, and this is happening right now. Perhaps the church will be led kicking and screaming into a new awareness of what it means to be followers of Christ in our own day and time. Pope Benedict said something along the lines of out of the current crisis will arise the church of the future. We certainly are in a current crisis. I hope we can be open to the Spirit leading us forward.

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