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Scripture of the Week


Reflection on the DAILY SCRIPTURES can be found at the following links:

'Our Daily Prayer' - Jesuit Communications (Australia) 

Commentaries on the Daily Readings from SACREDSPACE (Ireland) 

Readings and Reflections on the day's Scripture (United States Conference of Catholic Bishops) 

Daily Readings and Reflections (Passionist Fathers - USA) 

Commentary on the Gospel Reading for each day of the month (Dominican Fathers - Ireland)  


Reflect on the Sunday Scriptures with:

Sr. Veronica Lawson rsm   SEE BELOW

Fr. John McKinnon click here

Fr. John Thornhill  click here

Sunday, 21 Oct 2018: Twenty-ninth Sunday in Ordinary Time - Year B

First Reading - Is 53:10-11

If he offers his life in atonement, he shall see his heirs, and have long life.

The Lord has been pleased to crush his servant with suffering.

If he offers his life in atonement,

he shall see his heirs, he shall have a long life

and through him what the Lord wishes will be done.

His soul's anguish over

he shall see the light and be content.

By his sufferings shall my servant justify many,

taking their faults on himself.

Responsorial Psalm

Lord, let your mercy be on us,

Second Reading - Heb 4:14-16

Let us be confident in approaching the throne of grace.

Since in Jesus, the Son of God, we have the supreme high priest who has gone through to the highest heaven, we must never let go of the faith that we have professed. For it is not as if we had a high priest who was incapable of feeling our weaknesses with us; but we have one who has been tempted in every way that we are, though he is without sin. Let us be confident, then, in approaching the throne of grace, that we shall have mercy from him and find grace when we are in need of help.

Gospel Acclamation

Mk 10:45

Alleluia, alleluia!

The Son of Man came to serve

and to give his life as a ransom for all.


Gospel - Mk 10:35-45

The Son of Man came to give his life as a ransom for all.

James and John, the sons of Zebedee, approached Jesus. ‘Master,’ they said to him, ‘we want you to do us a favour.’ He said to them, ‘What is it you want me to do for you?’ They said to him, ‘Allow us to sit one at your right hand and the other at your left in your glory.’ ‘You do not know what you are asking’ Jesus said to them. ‘Can you drink the cup that I must drink, or be baptised with the baptism with which I must be baptised?’ They replied, ‘We can.’ Jesus said to them, ‘The cup that I must drink you shall drink, and with the baptism with which I must be baptised you shall be baptised, but as for seats at my right hand or my left, these are not mine to grant; they belong to those to whom they have been allotted.’

When the other ten heard this they began to feel indignant with James and John, so Jesus called them to him and said to them: ‘You know that among the pagans their so-called rulers lord it over them, and their great men make their authority felt. This is not to happen among you. No; anyone who wants to become great among you must be your servant, and anyone who wants to be first among you must be slave to all. For the Son of Man himself did not come to be served but to serve, and to give his life as a ransom for many.’

Gospel Reflection:

In the kindom of God movement established by Jesus, there is no place for domination or for any exercise of power over others. In today’s gospel story, this is a lesson that James and John, the sons of Zebedee, clearly need to learn. They seem to think that the structures of power operating in the Roman world are going to be replicated when Jesus conquers the forces of opposition and comes into his “glory”. The two brothers, James and John, put in a bid for shared deputy leadership positions. They seem to be blind and deaf to what Jesus has been trying to tell them throughout their journey from Caesarea Philippi to Jerusalem. They seek his patronage without reference to the rest of the leadership group who, incidentally, are not well pleased with their presumptuous companions.

James and John do not yet realise that Jesus’ way is not the way of status or entitlement and that their call as disciples and as leaders of the emerging movement has nothing to do with privilege. They need to understand that it has more to do with enduring the suffering associated with commitment to one’s mission, and with setting others free to be their best selves. To demonstrate this, Jesus offers them an unpalatable alternative: to “be slave of all”. He sustains the slavery metaphor and goes on to summarise his own mission with an image that comes out of the world of his time: “not to be served but to serve and give life as a ransom for many”. A ransom was the payment made to free someone from slavery. To substitute oneself for a slave was to give one’s life as a ransom for that slave. Reading the gospel from beginning to end helps us to understand the ultimate self-giving of Jesus in death as the climax of a lifetime’s outpouring of love, a love that draws forth loving and liberating action in others.

There are multiple ways of enslaving others, of dominating and of trying to control them in order to achieve one’s own personal or corporate ends, good or bad. The request of James and John reminds us that we can all lose sight of the liberating vision of the gospel and get caught up in destructive power struggles. As 21st century disciples, we hear the words of Jesus, ‘It is not to happen with you”. We might turn our attention to those in our world who are literally enslaved. We might join with ACRATH (Australian Catholic Religious against the Trafficking in Humans) or with others working to obtain freedom and justice for those trapped into sexual and other forms of slavery in our own cities. We might hear today’s gospel as a call to do something about this tragic phenomenon.

    Sr Veronica Lawson rsm

© The scriptural quotations are taken from the Jerusalem Bible, published and copyright 1966, 1967 and 1968 by Darton Longman and Todd Ltd and Doubleday & Co Inc, and used by permission of the publishers. The English translation of the Psalm Responses, the Alleluia and Gospel Verses, and the Lenten Gospel Acclamations, and the Titles, Summaries, and Conclusion of the Readings, from the Lectionary for Mass © 1997, 1981, 1968, International Committee on English in the Liturgy, Inc. All rights reserved.








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