The Gospel reading from the Mass for Sunday Cycle B of the 29th Week of Ordinary Time is Mark 10:32-45.

After forming the Apostles over a period of several years, Christ leads them towards Jerusalem and His Passion; it is a stressful time that leaves the disciples “amazed” and the crowds “afraid.” Taking the disciples aside, Christ, with astonishing precision, describes the details of His passion including His “trial” by the Jewish leaders, the scourging and Crucifixion by the Gentiles and His Resurrection after three days.   

Rather than prayerful sorrow for Christ’s coming ordeal, the “Sons of Thunder”, James and John, boldly and disrespectfully demand that Christ do “whatever we ask of you.”  Instead of harshly rebuking them for their ill-timed demand to be glorified (Jesus has just told them He will be killed), Christ patiently points out their ignorance.  He poses a mysterious question that is a prophecy of His Passion and the Eucharist (the “cup”) and the anointing of the Holy Spirit (the “baptism”).  Though they don’t yet understand, Christ mysteriously confirms they will indeed “drink my cup”, a reference to their own suffering (James is martyred and John is persecuted and exiled), but defers to the Father’s Will as to how each will be rewarded.  

The 10 other disciples are indignant at James and John’s desire to be honored by Christ above them.  Christ, aware of the bickering, summons the disciples and rebukes their desire for honor. Comparing their desires for glory to the lust for power of the Gentiles, Christ directs the disciples to instead model their behavior on Him and aspire to be a servant and slave for the salvation of others. 

Awed by Jesus ChristDivine Leader, Christ leads the disciples towards His own death in Jerusalem.  Divine Prophet, Christ accurately provide details of His own death and the suffering of the disciples.  Divine Priest, Christ mysteriously refers to the sacraments of Baptism and the Eucharist and the celebration of Pentecost.  Divine King, Christ talks tough to His disciples, rebuking and correcting their foolishness and directing them to model themselves only on Him. 

Being a Heroic Catholic Man

1) Despite forming the Apostles for three years and clearly describing His imminent betrayal, torture and murder, the Apostles selfishly vie for honor. Be amazed at Christ’s merciful patience. 

2) Rather than pridefully desiring to control others, Christ calls men to be “slaves to all.”  Reflect upon the call to Serve Christ (CCC 160, 358, 786, 1273, 2084, 2096) and pray for Christ to give you the humility to be a humble servant to others. 

3) Like James’ and John’s selfish request of Christ, men often pray for their own will to be done, not God’s. Consider Christ’s direction in the Lord’s Prayer, Thy Will Be Done…(CCC 2822-2827, 2860) and pray for Christ to help you more perfectly desire for God’s will to be done in your life.