This Sunday’s Readings:
Psalm 33:4–5, 18–19, 20, 22 (℟ 22)
Mark 10:35–45 or 10:42–45
ON THE WAY TO JERUSALEM, between two healings of blind men (in chapters 8 and 10), Mark repeats this pattern three times: Jesus reveals his destiny; the disciples misunderstand what that means; Jesus reorients them to the Gospel. Soon they will arrive in Jerusalem where there is no turning back from the cross.
The Sunday lectionary omits the third revelation occurring just before today’s scene with James and John. Jesus has just told the Twelve that in Jerusalem he will be handed over to the authorities and killed, but after three days he will rise (10:33–34). Right then, James and John ask for places of honor in Jesus’s glory. Given the omitted lectionary passage, it’s hard to tell what the brothers thought they were asking for.
On the cusp of our own no-turning-back moments, none of us really understands what we are asking for. We learn what it means to be parents not through books or classes but by going through the day-by-day epiphanies, missteps, and do-overs. We grasp the true meaning of marriage only after many years of better and worse. Baptism is not the end but the beginning of an ever-deeper immersion into Christ’s death and resurrection.
We understand the paschal mystery in which we participate only by handing ourselves over to it and submitting our entire life to serve as Jesus served.
“When I’ve done the best I can and my friends don’t understand, may the serv’ce I give speak for me.”
It’s hard, even as an adult, to follow the path you know is right, especially when others who are important to you think what you are doing is silly or doesn’t matter or doesn’t make sense. But are popularity and acceptance ultimately important? We all stumble, we all fall, we all are misunderstood at times, but this truth remains: God calls each of us to do our best according to his will and his word, and when we do, the work we’ve done speaks louder than any voices that say otherwise.
More choral suggestions for the Twenty-ninth Sunday in Ordinary Time…
Be Thou My Vision Arr. Rory Cooney Two-part mixed, piano, guitar, opt. piccolo, string quartet G-3973
Be Thou My Vision Bernard Sexton SATB, children’s choir, piano G-6813
Dos Cantos para las Procesiones / Two Processional Songs Pedro Rubalcava Two- or three-part choir, cantor, descant, assembly, opt. keyboard, opt. guitar 012531
El Señor Es Compasivo: Salmo 103(102) (bilingual) Peter M. Kolar Unison choir, descants, cantor, assembly, keyboard, guitar, flute 012670
Gathered in Your Name Mikey Needleman Three-pt choir, cantor, assembly, keyboard, guitar 008042
Grace and Guide Our Days Alan J. Hommerding SATB, cantor, assembly, keyboard, opt. 2 C instruments, B-flat instrument, & handbells 009414
If a Single Grain of Wheat Should Fall Ken Macek SATB, cantor, assembly, keyboard, guitar, oboe, or C instrument 008074
Mercy Lorraine Hess SSA, assembly, keyboard, guitar, flute 008075
Path of Mercy John T. Kyler & Karen Schneider Kirner Two-part mixed choir, assembly, keyboard, guitar, flute, opt. 2 violins & cello 007303
Servants of God Michael Perza SATB, cantor, assembly, keyboard, guitar, C instrument 008769