Words of Spirit and Life

"Today Jesus asks us to let him become our King. A King that with His word, His example and his immolated life on the cross.." – Pope Francis

29th Sunday in Ordinary Time (Year B) – 17th October 2021


  • Isaiah 53:10-11;
  • Psalm 32 (33):4-5. 18-20. 22. R/ v. 22;
  • Hebrew 4:14-16
  • Mark 10:35-45 (Shorter Form, verses 42-45)

1. Today is the 29th Sunday in Ordinary Time, Liturgical Year B. The readings today tell us that Jesus came to serve, to suffer, and to sacrifice, in order to sanctify and save the world!

    The gospel today tells us that even after the third prophesy of Jesus’ passion death and resurrection (Mk 10:32-34), the disciples still did not understand. In fact James and John, the inner disciples of Jesus, requested Jesus to give them seats at his right hand and left hand in his glory! Jesus told them that they had to drink the cup of suffering that Jesus was to drink, and they had to be baptized with the baptism of death that Jesus was to be baptized, but as for the seats at his right hand and left hand, it was not for Jesus to give, but it was for God the Father to give! (Mt 20:23)

    The gospel also tells us that the other ten disciples were indignant with James and John, presumably, because they too wanted to be at Jesus’ right and left hand in his glory. Jesus then taught them that anyone who wants to be great must be a servant (diakonos), and anyone who wants to be first must be a slave (doulos – an even humbler word than diakonos/NJBC) to all. For Jesus himself came not to be served, but to serve and to give his life for the ransom of many!

    The gospel today is the climax of Mark’s central section (8:22-10:45). Mark wants to tell us that Jesus Christ is not only a “divine man” or miracle worker, but He is the Son of man to be crucified for the salvation of the world! (Fuller)

2. The first reading follows the theme of the gospel. The first reading is from the fourth of four suffering servant songs of Isaiah! The first reading tells us that the suffering servant of God was to suffer and die for the sins of the world and that God will save him and through him God will save the whole world! Thus we read in the first reading:

    “The Lord has been pleased to crush his servant with suffering. If he offers his life in atonement, he shall see his heirs, he shall have a long life and through him what the Lord wishes will be done. His soul’s anguish over he shall see the light and be content. By his sufferings shall my servant justify many, taking their faults on himself.” (Is 53:10-11)             

3. The responsorial psalm follows the theme of the first reading. The responsorial psalm tells us of the steadfast love of God, that is, the faithful love of God (IBC). Although we do not love him, he still loves us in Jesus Christ, and although we are not faithful to him, He is still faithful to us in Jesus Christ!

   The responsorial psalm has three stanzas. The first stanza tells us that the Lord fills the earth with his love, not only in salvation, but also in creation! The second stanza tells us to hope in God’s love. And the third stanza is a prayer for God’s love. Thus the response of the responsorial psalm:

    “May your love be upon us, O Lord, as we place all our hope in you.”! (Ps 32 (33): 22)    

4. Incidentally, the second reading tells us of Jesus, the merciful high priest! (NJBC/HCSB) The second reading tells us to have faith in God’s mercy and grace! The second reading tells us to have confidence to approach the throne of grace so that we may obtain mercy and find grace when we need help!

    The mercy of God forgives our sins and the grace of God helps us to overcome sins! We are saved in two ways, that is, by the forgiveness of our sins and by being preserved from sin by the grace of God. Mary was saved in the second way! Mary was without sin!

The Sacrament of Reconciliation/Penance (“Confession”) forgives our sins and gives us the grace to live a new life!

5. Today in the Eucharist, we celebrate the death and resurrection of Jesus Christ, and we eat his body and drink his blood, and the Risen Lord will give us the Holy Spirit. The Holy Spirit will help us serve, suffer and sacrifice in order to sanctify and save the world! The Holy Spirit will help us hope in God’s love. And the Holy Spirit will help us to have faith in God’s mercy and grace.


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