Twenty Ninth Sunday in Ordinary Time 17 October 2021

“Can you drink the cup that I must drink?”

We have been alerted by Mark. “They are on the road, going up to Jerusalem”. Excitement was evident. The great feast of the Passover was to be celebrated in the Holy City. Huge interest was being shown to the teacher from Galilee. Was he the person to set the people free? James and John wished to have good seats at the celebration…it didn’t really matter about the other ten. The scene reminds me of the two men desperate to obtain seats to the Grand Final in Perth recently. Broke most rules to get there; now in jail.

Jesus must have sighed a great sigh! Will they ever learn? Will we ever learn? So, another lesson about the order in the Kingdom and the way forward. There will be pain and suffering, the Father allocates the seats, no room for scalpers. The way forward will be through service. “Can you drink the cup that I must drink?”

It is a great counter vision to the ethos of the time…and to our age also.

There are too many examples today of progress being dependent on throwing weight around, H/K, threats and intimidation, Taiwan, advancement in career at a sexual price, even “father knows best” in our own Church circles.

Many years ago, in discussing the acceptance, or not, of a person for work within the Church, my friend remarked “Can he drink the cup?” Sadly, it turned out…no.

“Can you drink the cup that I must drink?” is still a touchstone for us. We all need to imitate the kind of servant leadership shown by Jesus, who gave his life that others might be free.

True greatness involves the service of others. Let us find a little way to be of service to another this week.

Mons Frank