Vol.5 No.6 Gospel Reflection— Mark 10:35-45
29th Sunday Ordinary Time/18 October 2015
By Cissy Helms
In Following Christ:A Handbook of Catholic Moral Teaching, Father Daniel Lowery describes what he calls the centerpiece of the moral teaching of Jesus. It is love or charity. In John 15:12-17 Jesus says “This is my commandment: love one another as I have loved you.
In today’s gospel Jesus tells us he came to serve and to give his life as a ransom for many. He came to earth, both human and divine, as the perfect role model of a servant of God.
In his public life, he demonstrated service to God and man. He taught us by his words and actions. He cured all kinds of illness. Helped the blind to see and the lame to walk. He drove out demons. Jesus demonstrated how real, practical, and humble love should be by washing the feet of the disciples.
Am I a servant of God?
Recently in commentaries we have heard beautiful stories of several saints who were servants of God. Examples of generosity, faithfulness, and humility were displayed in the lives of Jeanne Jugan, Teresa of Calcutta, and St Therese of Lisieux. These women must have remembered the powerful words of Mary, our Mother and role model speaking to Gabriel, “Behold I am the handmaid of the Lord. May it be done to me according to your word”(Luke 1:38).
In Catholic for a Reason, Timothy Gray’s chapter, “Scriptures Revelation of Mary” describes different facets of Mary. She is our spiritual mother. Mary is the channel of God’s grace and life. However his description of Mary as Queen of Heaven infused me with a deeper appreciation or more rounded view of that title. In ancient Israel in the Davidic kingdom the mother of the king held an extremely important and influential office known as Giberah. In Hebrew it means ‘great lady’ or ‘Queen Mother’.In biblical times the king usually had many wives, so the mother of the king rather than a wife was queen. The queen received her authority from an intimate and unique familial relation to the king. In biblical times in the royal court she sat to the right of the king signifying her importance. A fundamental part of that role was intercession for members of the kingdom.
Contemporary Christian preachers describe servants of God as those who are available, alert, obedient, and thankful. I suggest in the Marian tradition we allow Mary, our Giberah, to intercede for us and help us become:
available to be mindful in the moment; to see the needs of others
alert to be patient and watchful; for opportunities to show the love of God
obedient to act; when we are shown or asked to help others
thankful to praise God; pray and thank God each day for the good in our lives.
The second reading this Sunday from Hebrews tells to “confidently approach the throne of grace to receive mercy and to find grace for timely help.” Please join me and let’s move forward with courage and obedience to fulfill our unique mission as servants of God!