YEAR B: HOMILY FOR THE 29TH SUNDAY IN ORDINARY TIME
HOMILY THEME: AUTHORITY AND SERVICE
BY: Fr. Benny Tuazon
(Lk. 10:35-45) Twenty-Ninth Sunday in Ordinary a Time.
In today’s Gospel, the Twenty-Ninth Sunday in Ordinary Time, Jesus was approached by two of His apostles, James and John, sons of Zebedee. They courageously asked a favour from Jesus. It was to occupy places of honour when they come to be in the Kingdom. Rather than spend time and energy being angry and castigating them on their high and misdirected ambition, Jesus took the opportunity to teach them a lesson on authority and service.
For Jesus, service is not lording it over the subjects. It is being a model of and witness to service. The leader uses everything he has in order to provide and develop the good to his people. Jesus gave us an example. From becoming human, to living with simple parents like Mary and Joseph, to dying the most excruciating and humiliating death. He was very different from the rulers and leaders of His day and, unfortunately, even to this day. Worse, many of those leaders are Christians, suppose to be His followers.
Are our leaders today rendering essential service to their people? We are not just talking about material service here. Or, as the Gospels last week say, external piety is not enough. Jesus was concerned about service which provides spiritual growth and graces. And this is not limited only to priests, nuns and Church workers. This is a responsibility of all baptized. It is not fulfilled by being poor like the subjects. Empathizing is just a part of it. It is in using everything they have in order to provide them the path towards eternal life. indeed, a leader can wear rugged clothes, walk some boondocks, eat with their bare hands, commute, and make a lot of speeches on poverty, and still would not pass as model of Christian service.
The test is in the living. Christian service is a way of life. Service for the sake of praises, applauses, recognition, election, awards, etc. is a disservice, deception, and a prostitution of the poor and the needy. Jesus made the ultimate service. He became human and died. No greater love than that!