Twenty-first Sunday after Pentecost: Week 24 in Ordinary Time

& archive, Year B.

Lord Jesus Christ,
You call us to come
To be with you,
And to learn trust, faith.
By your Spirit help me
To see you,
To hear your voice.
Help me to follow you in all of life,
To walk in the joy and freedom of the resurrection,
Indwelt and led by your Pentecost Spirit.
Amen

Twenty-first Sunday after Pentecost: Week 24 in Ordinary Time

We are still on the road with Jesus and his followers, walking south towards Jerusalem. Again, for the third time, Jesus explains to his followers what awaits him – and them –once they arrive in that city.

While on this long walk we become aware of the pattern emerging: Jesus’ trying to prepare his disciples for what is to come, and then how these followers are in denial; they become silent, argue among themselves, change the subject. The disciples are still holding fast to their belief that Jesus will be the triumphal Messiah, and they will be in places of importance as Jesus restores the throne and the nation of Israel. This belief consistently fuels their arguing and fighting as to who will be chosen to sit in the places of power next to Jesus when he ascends the throne.

We listen as we are invited to be present when Jesus draws the twelve aside and says for a third time that “The Son of Man will be handed over to the chief priests and the scribes, and the they will condemn him to death; then they will hand him over to the Gentiles; they will mock him, and spit upon hi, and flog him, and kill him; and after three days he will rise again.” They are afraid at such words, and unable to comprehend or accept what he is saying.

As we stand there James and John now approach Jesus, asking him to grant them the two lead places – at his right and at his left – when he emerges as triumphant. The other ten are angry! Jesus knows their heart and their struggle. He has addressed them once before about their drive for power. But now, again, with patience and directness, Jesus tends their minds and hearts, calling them to servanthood; a yieldedness to God who alone can grant such requests, and to serving each other, just as he serves them. He is about to serve them on a deeper level by giving his life for their sake and the world.

Such servanthood can only happen as we trust God and God’s way of bringing the kingdom, of making all things new. This is not some passive acceptance, but rather is the deep inner place of listening and being available from which we take initiative in harmony with the Holy Spirit who guides us and prompts us to action. Among the early Anabaptists this was called “Gelassenheit” – a deep inner and outer yieldedness of heart, soul, mind, and life. Such yieldedness rests in trust, a deep abandonment to God and God’s way in Jesus.

Be still this week, and listen: in your time apart, and as you are engaged in life, work, and service. Listen for God. Listen within. Listen for God around and among. Thus we learn to be led by the Spirit of Jesus as we live and serve.

Prayer before reading:

Lord Jesus Christ,
You come to us
In the presence of the Holy Spirit.
Help me to be present to you –
To be with you,
To listen –
With the ears of my heart.
Lead me in your Way.
Amen

Twenty-first Sunday after Pentecost: Week 24 in Ordinary Time

  • 10/15 Monday: Mark 10:32-34
  • 10/16 Tuesday: Mark 10:35-45
  • 10/17 Wednesday: Psalm 91:9-16
  • 10/18 Thursday: Isaiah 53:4-12
  • 10/19 Friday: Hebrews 7:23-28
  • 10/20 Saturday: Mark 10:32-34
  • 10/21 Sunday: Mark 10:35-45