Sunday, 17 October 2021 : Twenty-Ninth Sunday of Ordinary Time (Gospel Reading)

Liturgical Colour : Green

Mark 10 : 35-45

At that time, James and John, the sons of Zebedee, came to Jesus and said to Him, “Master, we want You to grant us what we are going to ask of You.” And He said, “What do you want Me to do for you?” They answered, “Grant us to sit, one at Your right hand and one at Your left, when You come in Your glory.”

But Jesus said to them, “You do not know what you are asking. Can you drink the cup that I drink, or be baptised in the way I am baptised?” They answered, “We can.” And Jesus told them, “The cup that I drink, you will drink; and you will be baptised in the way that I am baptised; but to sit at My right or at My left is not Mine to grant. It has been prepared for others.”

On hearing this, the other ten were angry with James and John. Jesus then called them to Him and said, “As you know, the so-called rulers of the nations behave like tyrants, and those in authority oppress the people. But it shall not be so among you; whoever would be great among you must be your servant, and whoever would be first among you shall make himself slave of all.”

“Think of the Son of Man, Who has not come to be served but to serve, and to give His life to redeem many.”

Alternative reading (shorter version)

Mark 10 : 42-45

At that time, Jesus then called His disciples to Him and said, “As you know, the so-called rulers of the nations behave like tyrants, and those in authority oppress the people. But it shall not be so among you; whoever would be great among you must be your servant, and whoever would be first among you shall make himself slave of all.”

“Think of the Son of Man, Who has not come to be served but to serve, and to give His life to redeem many.”

Saturday, 25 July 2020 : Feast of St. James, Apostle (Gospel Reading)

Liturgical Colour : Red

Matthew 20 : 20-28

At that time, the mother of James and John came to Jesus with her sons, and she knelt down, to ask a favour. Jesus said to her, “What do you want?” And she answered, “Here, You have my two sons. Grant, that they may sit, one at Your right hand and one at Your left, in Your kingdom.”

Jesus said to the brothers, “You do not know what you are asking. Can you drink the cup that I am about to drink?” They answered, “We can.” Jesus replied, “You will indeed drink My cup; but to sit at My right or at My left is not for Me to grant. That will be for those, for whom My Father has prepared it.”

The other then heard all this, and were angry with the two brothers. Then Jesus called them to Him and said, “You know, that the rulers of nations behave like tyrants, and the powerful oppress them. It shall not be so among you : whoever wants to be great in your community, let him minister to the community. And if you want to be the first of all, make yourself the servant of all. Be like the Son of Man, Who came not to be served, but to serve, and to give His life to redeem many.”

Wednesday, 25 July 2018 : Feast of St. James, Apostle (Gospel Reading)

Liturgical Colour : Red

Matthew 20 : 20-28

At that time, the mother of James and John came to Jesus with her sons, and she knelt down, to ask a favour. Jesus said to her, “What do you want?” And she answered, “Here, You have my two sons. Grant, that they may sit, one at Your right hand and one at Your left, in Your kingdom.”

Jesus said to the brothers, “You do not know what you are asking. Can you drink the cup that I am about to drink?” They answered, “We can.” Jesus replied, “You will indeed drink My cup; but to sit at My right or at My left is not for Me to grant. That will be for those, for whom My Father has prepared it.”

The other then heard all this, and were angry with the two brothers. Then Jesus called them to Him and said, “You know, that the rulers of nations behave like tyrants, and the powerful oppress them. It shall not be so among you : whoever wants to be great in your community, let him minister to the community. And if you want to be the first of all, make yourself the servant of all. Be like the Son of Man, Who came not to be served, but to serve, and to give His life to redeem many.”

Sunday, 18 October 2015 : Twenty-Ninth Sunday of Ordinary Time, Mission Sunday and Feast of St. Luke, Evangelist (Gospel Reading)

Liturgical Colour : Green

Mark 10 : 35-45

At that time, James and John, the sons of Zebedee, came to Jesus and said to Him, “Master, we want You to grant us what we are going to ask of You.” And He said, “What do you want Me to do for you?” They answered, “Grant us to sit, one at Your right hand and one at Your left, when You come in Your glory.”

But Jesus said to them, “You do not know what you are asking. Can you drink the cup that I drink, or be baptised in the way I am baptised?” They answered, “We can.” And Jesus told them, “The cup that I drink you will drink, and you will be baptised in the way that I am baptised; but to sit at My right hand or at My left is not Mine to grant. It has been prepared for others.”

On hearing this, the other ten were angry with James and John. Jesus then called them to Him and said, “As you know, the so-called rulers of the nations act as tyrants, and their great ones oppress them. But it shall not be so among you; whoever would be great among you must be your servant, and whoever would be first among you shall make himself slave of all.”

“Think of the Son of Man, who has not come to be serve but to serve, and to give His life to redeem many.”

Alternative reading (shorter version)

Mark 10 : 42-45

Jesus then called them to Him and said, “As you know, the so-called rulers of the nations act as tyrants, and their great ones oppress them. But it shall not be so among you; whoever would be great among you must be your servant, and whoever would be first among you shall make himself slave of all.”

“Think of the Son of Man, who has not come to be serve but to serve, and to give His life to redeem many.”

Wednesday, 27 May 2015 : 8th Week of Ordinary Time, Memorial of St. Augustine of Canterbury, Bishop (Gospel Reading)

Liturgical Colour : Green or White (Bishops)

Mark 10 : 32-45

At that time, Jesus and His disciples were on the road going up to Jerusalem, and He was walking ahead. The Twelve were anxious, and those who followed were afraid. Once more Jesus took the Twelve aside to tell them what was to happen to Him.

“You see we are going up to Jerusalem, and the Son of Man will be given over to the chief priests and the teachers of the Law. They will condemn Him to death, and hand Him over to the foreigners, who will make fun of Him, spit on Him, scourge Him, and finally kill Him; but three days later He will rise.”

James and John, the sons of Zebedee, came to Jesus and said to Him, “Master, we want You to grant us what we are going to ask of You.” And He said, “What do you want Me to do for you?” They answered, “Grant us to sit, one at Your right hand and one at Your left, when You come in Your glory.”

But Jesus said to them, “You do not know what You are asking. Can you drink the cup that I drink, or be baptised in the way I am baptised?” They answered, “We can.” And Jesus told them, “The cup that I drink you will drink, and you will be baptised in the way that I am baptised; but to sit at My right hand or at My left is not Mine to grant. It has been prepared for others.”

On hearing this, the other ten were angry with James and John. Jesus then called them to Him and said, “As you know, the so-called rulers of the nations act as tyrants, and their great ones oppress them. But it shall not be so among you; whoever would be great among you must be your servant, and whoever would be first among you shall make himself slave of all.”

“Think of the Son of Man, who has not come to be served but to serve, and to give His life to redeem many.”

Thursday, 25 July 2013 : Feast of St. James, Apostle (Gospel Reading)

Matthew 20 : 20-28

Then the mother of James and John came to Jesus with her sons, and she knelt down, to ask a favour. Jesus said to her, “What do you want?” And she answered, “Here You have my two sons. Grant that they may sit, one at Your right hand and One at Your left, when You are in Your kingdom.”

Jesus said to the brothers, “You do not know what you are asking. Can you drink the cup that I am about to drink?” They answered, “We can.” Jesus replied, “You will indeed drink My cup, but to sit at My right or at My left is not for Me to grant. That will be for those for whom My Father has prepared it.”

The other ten heard all this, and were angry with the two brothers. Then Jesus called them to Him and said, “You know that the rulers of the nations act as tyrants over them, and the powerful oppress them. It shall not be so among you : whoever wants to be more important in your community shall make himself your servant. And if you want to be the first of all, make yourself the servant of all. Be like the Son of Man who has come, not to be served but to serve, and to give His life to redeem many.”

Wednesday, 29 May 2013 : 8th Week of Ordinary Time (Gospel Reading)

Mark 10 : 32-45

They were on the road going up to Jerusalem, and Jesus was walking ahead. The Twelve were anxious, and those who followed were afraid. Once more Jesus took the Twelve aside to tell them what was to happen to Him.

“You see we are going up to Jerusalem, and the Son of Man will be given over to the chief priests and the teachers of the Law. They will condemn Him to death, and hand Him over to the foreigners, who will make fun of Him, spit on Him, scourge Him, and finally kill Him; but three days later He will rise.”

James and John, the sons of Zebedee, came to Jesus and said to Him, “Master, we want You to grant us what we are going to ask of You.” And He said, “What do you want Me to do for you?” They answered, “Grant us to sit, one at Your right hand and one at Your left, when You come in Your glory.”

But Jesus said to them, “You do not know what you are asking. Can you drink the cup that I drink, or be baptised in the way I am baptised?” They answered, “We can.” And Jesus told them, “The cup that I drink you will drink, and you will be baptised in the way that I am baptised; but to sit at My right hand or at My left is not Mine to grant. It has been prepared for others.”

On hearing this, the other ten were angry with James and John. Jesus then called them to Him and said, “As you know, the so-called rulers of the nations act as tyrants, and their great ones oppress them. But it shall not be so among you; whoever would be great among you must be your servant, and whoever would be first among you shall make himself slave of all.”

“Think of the Son of Man, who has not come to be served, but to serve, and to give His life to redeem many.”

Sunday, 24 March 2013 : Palm Sunday of the Passion of the Lord, Holy Week (Scripture Reflection)

Christ, Jesus Christ, the Son of God, whom we know as our Saviour, through His death on the cross at Calvary, had His story of the Passion He went through for our sake told today, beginning from the triumphal entry into Jerusalem, and ending with the great Resurrection on Easter Sunday. It all began in what today’s commemoration called as the Palm Sunday, the beginning of the Holy Week, in which in this holiest of all weeks in history, the story of salvation of all mankind was unfold. It marked the culmination of Jesus’ mission on this world to save it and bring it back into unity with God the Father, who loves all.

Palm Sunday marked how Christ came into Jerusalem, welcomed as a ‘king’ and glorified with the palms and hymns, and all the people glorifying God and mentioned His descent from David, as a sign of His mission to make God’s promise fulfilled to David, that is to establish David’s throne forever through Him, and to mark the return of the true King to the people of Israel. He is indeed a king of glory who will lead His beloved people to glory and victory once again, and this victory is none other than that of the ultimate triumph over evil, Satan, and all his evil plots that had plagued all mankind since he brought Adam and Eve, our forefathers to evil and rebellion against God.

Yes, Christ had entered Jerusalem in order to bring about that triumph, that victory against Satan who had enchained mankind to slavery under sin since the beginning of creation. He came as the one to liberate mankind, as their king to lead them out of the darkness of evil. Yes, Christ is a king, king of all kings indeed. For in Him lies all authority and all power that is there on earth and in heaven. But yet, our Lord remains humble, a servant leader. For even He entered Jerusalem not on a mighty warhorse or elephants as kings and rulers of the earth would do or had done before, but on a humble donkey, widely considered as a dumb and weak animal.

Yes, and as Christ had mentioned in the Last Supper He had with His disciples, the greatest among all, the leader should be the servant of all, and show the leadership, not via strong arms, wealth, or power, but through example through service. That a leader truly is a leader only if he serves as an example of his leadership, for a leader is not made a leader to glorify that leader, but most importantly that he will do good for the sake of others, especially those upon whom he had been appointed as a leader for.

And remember, Jesus Christ Himself had said that His kingdom is not of this world, but is a kingdom of love and truth, and not of power, strength, and glory. For Christ had come into this world, to be that servant leader, that as its leader, being God, who created it and all mankind and creations on earth, He had come to show example through His teachings and His actions, and also showed example to other leaders on how they should be responsible on their duties entrusted to them, as well as showing them how to lead as He had done.

He came to Jerusalem to face His death, as we all know, that He was to die on that week, which we commemorate every year on Good Friday. From that jubilation and glorification that we see and commemorate today of His entry, within a short time, all that turned to lamentation, and worse, condemnation, when they shouted “Crucify Him!” at Christ when He was being condemned to death before Pilate. He shows that power and glory indeed are just temporary, and indeed things may just change as quickly as it would, as it was with Christ, who was hailed as King and then condemned to die like a criminal within the same week.

Jesus wanted to enter Jerusalem because He must do so in order to accomplish the mission that had been given to Him by the Father, and also because He is of the Father, He also loves us that He wants to save us, despite all the difficulties and the sufferings that He had to go through. Being human as Jesus is, He Himself too feel the suffering that all of us suffer from, and even He asked God the Father, to let that cup of suffering that He had to drink to pass from Him. Such is the extent of suffering that He had to suffer from that even Jesus, who is fully human and fully divine, was also pushed to the point of wavering in the face of such unprecedented and unimaginable weight that He had to bear.

Indeed, inside that cup of suffering, is all our sins, our faults, and our rebellions against God. That is all the weight of sin that Christ had to bear through His suffering until His death, in order to purchase us from Satan, our jailor, our slaver. He redeemed us from our slavery to sin by His own being, His own Precious Body and Precious Blood, which He freely gave to all of us, that we may have eternal life in Him.

It is up to us entirely whether to follow Christ, in taking up our crosses as Christ had asked of us and His disciples, and therefore in doing so, sharing in the cross of Christ and therefore in His glory upon His resurrection, or we can be like His accusers and like those who shouted for His death, or by continuing to live in our state of sin, and therefore adding more and more to that cup which Christ had to bear, and also therefore took part passively in scourging Christ and creating His wounds.

Therefore, brothers and sisters in Christ, as we begin this Holy Week and all the celebrations and Masses that we are going to have, let us keep our focus on Christ, on Christ crucified on the cross, for through that cross all of us were saved from sin and eternal damnation, and also on Christ Resurrected, which on Easter Vigil and Easter Sunday, and indeed through the entire Easter season we are going to celebrate. That despite the death of Jesus on the Cross, all is not lost, since on the third day, He was risen to life again, and was resurrected in glory, to show the final victory of God and light over Satan and his agents of darkness.

Holy Week is not just like any other week, but it is indeed a very important week, and should be the most important week in our calendar year, when there are so many events surrounding the salvation of the world are being commemorated. We should do our best and our utmost in order to make this Holy Week a truly holy and blessed week. Let us reflect on the suffering, death, and resurrection of our Lord Jesus Christ as we begin this Holy Week, with today, reflecting over the entry of Jesus in Jerusalem, how Jesus, the king of all kings, and Son of God the Most High, entered Jerusalem, His Holy City on a donkey, a lowly animal, and readily welcoming the death that would take Him that same week in Jerusalem.

May God Almighty bless all of us and make this Holy Week a truly holy and blessed week for all of us. Happy Holy Week! Amen.