Homily 25th Sunday of Year B: Michael U. Udoekpo
Readings: Wis 2:12, 17-20; Ps 54:3-8; Jas 3:16–4:3 and Mark 9:30-37
The Demands of Discipleship,
Last Sunday the Suffering Servant of YHWH reminded us that it takes obedience, perseverance, and endurance to withstand all kinds of trials in our faithfulness and service to God through our neighbors and good works. More is added today on what it takes to be a true disciple of Christ- this Suffering Servant of God!
It includes how we control our passion, especially the passion of searching for short cuts to power or success, rivalry, trying the patience of our neighbors unnecessarily; setting traps for our neighbors or indulging in an unhealthy competition to out do our neighbors, or selfishness and jealousy as listed by James in the 2nd reading. This is unwise!
Christ says, “If anyone wishes to be first, he shall be the last of all and the servant of all.” Christ means a servant who serves with smiles and love. This is the service that Christ himself lived and exemplified by wishing the feet of his disciples (John 13). He has told us here and there, that the Son man came to serve and not to be served. Beside this role of a servant, a true disciple should put on the attitude of a child- innocent, transparent, honest, dependent and truthful!
It comes with a price! Like in the case of Christ he was persecuted and handed over because Pilate, the Scribes, the Pharisees and many others did not want to hear the truth nor bear with the “childlike nature or qualities of Christ;” docility, meekness, humility and complete obedience to God His Father even onto the cross!
How many of us are willing to serve today in the church, government and society at large without looking for immediate and instant gain? How many of us today are willing to be like a child- transparent, sincere, and truthful no matter the cost!