18 Oct (Based on Mk 10:34-45 & Mission Sunday)

Once upon a time, a pig and a chicken were walking down a village street.

They came upon a church signboard which was informing of the Mission Sunday Program.

At the bottom of the signboard, a menu of the food items was given.
It read “Ham and eggs will be served from 6:30 to 9:00 am.”

The chicken turned to the pig and said:
“See!!’ Even we are helping in the work and mission of the Church!“

“Yes, truly we are” said the pig, “but yours is only a contribution, mine is a Sacrifice!”

A contribution sometimes remains only on the peripheral level;
>> A sacrifice percolates into the heart level.

True charity happens when there is an involvement of sacrifice and surrender.

When one has a clear purpose and a goal in life, one remains excited and enthusiastic about it, and is willing to live a life of complete surrender to the cause.

Have I discovered the true sense of purpose and aim in my life as a Christian and do I pursue in that path, with much enthusiasm and excitement?

Today, Holy Mother, the Church celebrates Mission Sunday.

Every Mission Sunday is an occasion to re-discover & re-kindle the purpose in one’s life as a Follower of Christ.

The Gospel of the Day helps us to rejuvenate our spirit of following Christ, who Himself was convinced of His Mission in life, highlighting an essential element of Christian living : Being in the world, but living out of the world, with eyes firmly set on heavenly realms.

James and John, the sons of Zebedee approach Jesus and ask for a favour: “Grant to us to sit, one at your right hand and one at your left, in your glory” (Mk 10:37)

They sought for a prime place in the future Kingdom of the Lord.

They probably had the conception and understanding, that Jesus would rule in glory, and they being His chosen ones, sought for esteemed positions in this Glorious Kingdom.

They were certainly right that the Lord would surely one day rule in glory.
But they got it totally wrong in their understanding and perspective of the nature of this rule.

•      His was not to be a kingdom of arrogant display of power…rather one of serene majesty and mercy
•      His was not to be a rule of aggression and pomp… rather one of gentle splendour and grace.

The Lord had, as per St Mark’s Gospel, just made His third prediction, regarding His Passion, Death and Resurrection.
•      He was revealing the true nature and character of the victory that He was to gain.
•      He was exposing the manner in which His glory would be stamped upon all ages to come.

However, the disciples fell short in grasping these words of the Lord.
St Mark says that “they were amazed, and those who followed were afraid” (Mk 10: 32b)

Our lives are very often no different, from the ignorance that the disciples had and the wrong notion that was expressed by James and John.

•      We fall prey to seeking great honour and fame in being a Christian…
… but are unable to grasp the fact that ‘to be a Christian is to be living a life of simplicity’.

•      We yield to temptations of being obsessed to seek power and positions of futile vanity…
… and fail time and again to live up to the Christian virtues of humility and modesty

•      We often become victims of engaging in dirty politics and authority-grabbing games…
… and become an anti-witness to the Lord who ‘came to serve, rather than be served’

We need to give heed to the words of the Lord who prayed that “we are in the world, but do not belong to this world” (Jn 17: 15)

A Christian life…. ought to be hallmarked by detachment and separation…
… detachment from too much of worldly distractions and vain glory
… separation from sinful ways and evil tendencies

Instead, a Christian life… ought to be radiated with total focus and complete dedication…
… total focus on the Lord who ‘walked the talk’ by giving up His life in service
… complete dedication to the Kingdom of God which calls for a humble way of life

As Christians, we are to be a people…
…. who live in the world, yet are called to be out of the world.
… who live amidst possibilities of wealth, yet are called to be detached from them.
… who live with the prospect of gaining immense power, yet are exhorted to not be attached

May the celebration of the Mission Sunday help us to re-discover & re-kindle the purpose in our life as a Follower of Christ and cause us to daringly walk on the path of sacrifice and surrender, for the cause of Christ!

God Bless! Live Jesus!

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