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Association of the Miraculous Medal
Weekly Gospel Reflection

Besides her great privilege of being the Mother of God, Mary was also her Son’s first disciple. She is often called the Model, or Exemplar of the Church. Following her example, we walk with her through the Gospels as we reflect on her response to God in her life.

October 21, 2018 — Twenty-Ninth Sunday in Ordinary Time
Mark 10:35-45
 Father Oscar Lukefahr, C.M.

Jennie’s parents told her that when she was brought home from the hospital as a newborn baby her two-year-old brother was jealous.  He would crawl on hands and knees, revert to baby talk, and jump off the fireplace ledge to get attention.  After about a week, he asked, “When is her mommy going to come and get her?”

It’s normal for little children to want the first place. But when adults insist on being first, they act childishly.  That’s what James and John do in today’s Gospel. They want the first place, and the other apostles are upset because they want it. Jesus says they have things backwards. The greatest is the one who serves others. He “did not come to be served, but to serve, and give his life as a ransom for many.”

If we want to follow Jesus, we must serve others as he did. An attitude of humble service unites us to Jesus and makes family life and social relationships more pleasant.

The Gospel also invites us to unite our sufferings to Christ’s. A headache or cold, or something more serious, can be offered up as a prayer for others. We can and should take medicine, but we should also offer up our pain in union with Christ’s on the cross...perhaps for a relative or friend who needs God’s grace.

Serving others and offering our suffering as prayer is not easy. We can’t do it without God’s help. In this month of the Rosary, we should see the sorrowful mysteries as an opportunity to reflect on our sufferings and unite them to Christ’s. As we pray, let’s ask Mary to help us put away childish attitudes of wanting the first place, of wanting others to serve us. Let’s pray for the grace to imitate Jesus, who came to serve and to give his life as a ransom for many.

Read last week's reflection.