29th Sunday in Ordinary Time – October 21, 2018

29th Sunday in Ordinary Time (B)

“What is it about wanting to be first?”

I remember (and I am dating myself!!!!!) I would always run to the car BECAUSE I wanted the front seat!!

Also… In school, I always wanted to be the first CALLED ON to do something for the teacher……….or…….the first one seated by the door so as to answer the door!!!

Playing games…. I wanted to START… I kept track of my brother and sister….. “You were first LAST TIME!!!!!”

What is it about wanting to be first?

What is it about being first????

1. PRIESTS, when we gather for BIG MASSES at the Cathedral…being the first concelebrant in the liturgical procession always puts a bit pressure on us because the FIRST GUY sets the pattern of entry into the sanctuary…bowing, kissing the altar, and getting the to correct church seat..


James and John wanted to be first.

The early church obviously experienced within its members the temptation that BEING FIRST MEANT BEING MOST IMPORTANT, a bureaucrat who is recognized, IN CHARGE, looked upon with respect by others.

They ask to be CHRIST’S FIRST cabinet positions, one at his right and one at his left. They wanted secured prestige.

Being first meant for JAMES AND JOHN,

“I made it”….
“I have prominence”
“Hey everybody, look at me”.

Why does being first matter to some and if it does, how do we change this because it is obviously NOT what Jesus taught…..

A Christian has been taught by Jesus that:
The last shall be first.
That’s the FOUNDATION for a Christian and
How does that develop in us?

When Jesus doesn’t grant the request of James and John

-he is telling all of us to become:
better disciplined,
practice humility,
be of service to others, and
have unconditional love for all.

-he is telling us that there is value in REDEMPTIVE SERVICE, not giving orders, not needing to “be in charge” but, service that imitates Jesus reaching out, getting our hands “dirty” so to speak, being involved with the needy, the outcasts, sacrificing ourselves for the good of others, even up to death.

The church is to become a worker bee, not an authoritarian and prestiged bureaucracy.


We all should count it a blessing if we have been inspired to keep a low profile in our Christian actions of service.

Keep asking God daily…how can I serve others today?……. to be His hands, and arms, and heart for others while not needing to be RECOGNIZED, HELD IN HIGH ESTEEM, and CHOSEN FIRST.

“Whoever wishes to be great among you will be your servant, and 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 give his life for the ransom of many.”

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