Twenty-ninth Sunday of Ordinary Time in Year B

Posté par diaconos le 13 octobre 2021

Whoever wants to be great must be a servant

Whoever wants to be the first among you will be the slave of all

# The rite of Catholic baptism is the first of the three sacraments of Christian initiation, together with the Eucharist (communion) and confirmation. For people of reasonable age (children and adults), it is preceded by a period of preparation, called the catechumenate, during which the future baptised person, the catechumen, discovers the faith for which he or she asks to be baptised. For infants, parents undergo a preparation for baptism that helps them to understand the meaning of this sacrament. For adults, actual baptism often takes place during the Easter Vigil.

Baptism that is reduced to the pouring out of water with the baptismal formula, without any of the other complementary forms, is called « non-baptism ». It is often reserved for cases of emergency (danger of death). Even if it is canonically valid, it must then be completed by the other ceremonies, if there is enough time. Traditionally, in France in modern times, children of the royal family and princes of the blood were uncontaminated at birth and therefore baptised as infants.

Blood baptism The Catholic Church recognises the idea of baptism in martyrdom, also known as « blood baptism ». a person who has not been baptised with water but has died because of his Christian beliefs is considered to have been baptised without having received the sacrament. The « implicit baptism of desire » is based on the idea that if someone is upright, generous, sincere, it can be assumed that if he or she had known Christ and the Gospel, he or she would certainly have accepted baptism and could therefore be saved.

The obligation to be baptised is thus maintained, but in fact it is a recognition that salvation is not ensured by the performance of a rite but by the inner attitude: the implicit baptism of salvation allows millions or even billions of men who some believed to be eternally damned to find themselves in the afterlife in the same situation as the baptised, baptised without knowing it.

The extension of the notion of baptism of desire, and therefore implicit baptism of desire, implies a break with St Augustine’s theology with the idea of a salvation made accessible by Christ to all humanity across time and space and not only to the baptised, even though this idea was present from the beginning of the Church, since St Augustine’s theories did not constitute a dogma of the Catholic Church and have never been admitted in the Orthodox Churches. Through baptism,

all sins are forgiven, original sin and all personal sins as well as all punishments due to sin8 . In the baptised person, however, there remain some temporal consequences of sin, such as suffering, sickness, death, or the inherent frailties of life such as weaknesses of character, as well as the inclination to sin that Tradition calls concupiscence.

From the Gospel according to Mark

35 James and John, the sons of Zebedee, came to Jesus and said to him, « Teacher, what we are about to ask you, we would like you to do for us. 36 He said to them, « What do you want me to do for you ? « 37 They answered him, « Give us a place, one at your right hand and one at your left, in your glory. »

38 Jesus said to them : « You do not know what you are asking. Can you drink the cup that I am about to drink, be baptized with the baptism in which I am about to be immersed ? «  39 They answered him, « We can. Jesus said to them, « The cup that I am about to drink, you shall drink it, and you shall be baptized with the baptism in which I am about to be immersed.

40 As for sitting at my right hand or at my left, it is not for me to grant it; there are those for whom it is prepared. 43 But among you it will not be so. Whoever wants to be great among you will be your servant.

44 Whoever wants to be first among you will be slave to all ; 45 for the Son of Man did not come to be served, but to serve, and to give his life as a ransom for many. (Mk 10, 35-45)

The ambition of the followerqs.disciples

And James and John, the sons of Zebedee, came to him, saying : « Master, we would like you to do all that we ask of you. (Mk 10, 35) After the prediction that Jesus had made to them, the approach of James and John seemed incomprehensible, if it were not further proof that even the most intelligent disciples had not understood this prediction.

The disciples, in spite of all the painful prospects Jesus gave them, did not doubt that he would in the near future be the head of a kingdom and a glorious kingdom. As for the false ideas they had, nothing was better suited to dispel them than the instructions Jesus gave them.

Of these two images of Christ’s sufferings, the cup and the baptism, only the first is authentic in Matthew. If the cup, in the symbolic language of Scripture, is the measure of good or evil destined for each person, baptism is an even more general and profound image of the suffering in which one is to be immersed in its totality, according to the etymological meaning of the word.

 Of these two pictures of Christ’s sufferings, the cup and baptism, only the first is authentic in Matthew. If the cup, in the symbolic language of Scripture, is the measure of good or evil destined for each person, baptism is an even more general and profound image of the suffering in which we must be immersed in its totality, according to the etymological meaning of the word.

Jesus thus showed the two disciples the way to glory and asked them : « Can you follow me there ?  » Moreover, he saw that moment of suffering as already having arrived; and Mark made it felt, as is his custom: the cup I drink, the baptism with which I am baptised. In Matthew, it was the mother of James and John, Salome, who first made this request to Jesus for her sons, while, according to Mark, it was the two disciples themselves who made it.

Matthew adds : from my Father ; Mark’s thought is the same. Only God prepares a soul for the high destination to which the two disciples aspired. To suppress the ambition of his disciples, Jesus contrasted the spirit of his kingdom with what was happening in the kingdoms of this world. To do this, he used very significant words. First, he said of the princes of this world who thought they ruled, or were to rule, or imagined they would rule.

What did Jesus mean by this? According to some interpreters, it would mean that these princes thought above all of establishing and asserting their authority, an authority that the people recognised. Others make Jesus say that these powerful men of the earth seemed to exercise great dominion, while they themselves were slaves to their passions. While they imagined themselves to be in supreme power, were they in absolute dependence on God, through whom kings ruled ?

« Those who imagine themselves to command the people tyrannise them, and the great ones oppress them. » (Rilliet) When Jesus arrived in Jericho and was leaving the city with a large crowd, a blind man named Bartimaeus, hearing that it was Jesus who was passing by, began to cry out, « Son of David, have mercy on me! When they tried to prevent him from disturbing Jesus, he cried out even louder: « Have mercy on me !

Jesus stopped and called the blind man, who quickly got up, took off his cloak and ran to Jesus. « What do you want me to do to you ? »  Jesus asked him. « Rabbouni, let me see again ! «  Jesus said to him : « Go, your faith has saved you. » And immediately he recovered his sight and followed Jesus.

Deacon Michel Houyoux

Links to other Christian sites

◊ Augustinian Friends :  click here to read the paper → Twenty-ninth Sunday in Ordinary Time Year B

◊ Bible Claret :  click here to read the paper →  Twenty ninth Sunday in the Ordinary time – Year B

Sint Augustines (Parish ) Homily  :  » Whoever wants to be first must be last and servant of all. »

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