• Wartakanlah Injil kepada segala makhluk.
    Mrk 16:15

  • 你们往普天下去, 向一切受造物宣传福音
    谷 16:15

  • Everything is possible by the power of the Holy Spirit’s Grace.
    St Arnold Janssen

  • Segala sesuatu menjadi mungkin dalam kekuatan karunia Roh Kudus.
    St. Arnold Janssen

  • 我当传教士不是为主牺牲,而是上主给我的最大恩赐
    圣福若瑟神父

  • Với sức mạnh Ân Huệ của Chúa Thánh Thần, Mọi việc đều có thể được.
    St Arnoldus Janssen

  • Preach the Gospel to the whole creation./Anh em hãy đi khắp tứ phương thiên hạ, loan báo Tin Mừng cho mọi loài thọ tạo
    Mk 16:15

  • There are many different gifts, but it is always the same Spirit.
    1 Cor 12:4

  • And the Word became flesh and lived among us.
    Jn 1:14

  • Let the word of Christ, in all its richness, find a home with you.
    Col 3:16

  • To proclaim the Good News is the first and greatest act of love of neighbour.
    St Arnold Janssen

  • 传扬天国福音是第一且最大的爱近人行动
    圣杨生•爱诺德神父

  • Có nhiều đặc sủng khác nhau, nhưng chỉ có một Thần Khí/
    1 Cor. 14:4

  • 圣言成了血肉,寄居在我们中间
    若 1:14

  • Ada rupa-rupa karunia, tetapi Roh satu
    1 Kor 12:4

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Friday, 19 October 2018 08:22

29th Sunday in Ordinary Time - Year B - 2018

Written by Fr. Elmer Ibarra SVD
Fr Elmer Ibarra 150 BestMuhammad Ali once used to say whenever he knocks down an opponent, “I am the greatest! I am the greatest!” Then after the match when he meets the members of the press, he would reiterate again and again his declaration, “I am the greatest! I am the greatest!” While this statement is debatable, I would agree that in the world of boxing Muhammad Ali is definitely one of the greatest. Muhammad Ali once used to say whenever he knocks down an opponent, “I am the greatest! I am the greatest!” Then after the match when he meets the members of the press, he would reiterate again and again his declaration, “I am the greatest! I am the greatest!” While this statement is debatable, I would agree that in the world of boxing Muhammad Ali is definitely one of the greatest. 
However, in the readings for today, there is definitely a different definition on who is the greatest. In the first reading, the prophet Isaiah is describing the “Suffering Servant”. It is through the sacrifices of this servant who will give up his life that many will live a long life. It is through his afflictions that he will see the light. It is through his suffering that many will be justified as he will be carrying all their guilt. This is the kind of a Messiah that the disciples don’t understand. 
In the gospel for today, the two disciples of Jesus namely, John and James, the sons of Zebedee have a request to Jesus that both of them would be seating at his left and his right in the kingdom. These two are thinking that when Jesus is already ruling over Israel as a king, they would be sitting at his sides as distinguished ministers. Of course, the other ten were angry with the two brothers. I guess they were angry not because of their outlandish request, but because they also have the same intention but they were just beaten as they were not the first ones to ask Jesus this request. However, Jesus was quick to challenge the two brothers whether they are willing to drink the cup that he was about to drink and to be baptised in the way that he will be baptised, both would mean that he would face suffering, be rejected and eventually he would give up his life. The brothers answered, “Yes”, which I think they don’t have any idea at that time of what it really means. Later on though, these two would be able to understand what Jesus was talking about as John would see him die on the cross and James would suffer martyrdom. 
During the life of Jesus, many were confused on what a Messiah would be. Many thought that a Messiah would be a political Messiah. A person who would be able to galvanise the people, lead an army and kick the Romans out of Israel and restore the house of David and rule as a King. Of course, all of them would be mistaken when Jesus started telling his disciples that he would be arrested, suffer grievously, die and on the third day rise again. 
So the question remains, “Who is then the greatest?” For Jesus, the greatest is to be a servant and to be the first should be the slave of all. Unfortunately, until now the world sees that the greatest should be the most powerful, the person who has the most money, the person who has the most influence, the person who has the most authority, the person who will be able to “lord it over”. Jesus reminds us that, this is not the case. To be the greatest, one should be the servant for everybody, one should be humble, and one should be willing to give up one’s life so that others may life. This is what Jesus did. So if we look at ourselves, are we the person who wants to lord it over everybody so that others would feel that we are important? Are we the person whose ambition is to be in the highest position in the organisation? Are we the person who wants to accumulate as much money as possible? Or are we the person who is selfless and willing to give up everything so that other people may live? 
Jesus challenges us to be different from what the world is expecting of us. In doing this though, we may have to sacrifice a lot of things that makes us happy in a worldly way. But we are able to persevere on what Jesus wants us to be and that is to be humble, be of service to everyone and to give up one’s life for one’s friends, then Jesus would definitely see us as the greatest. 
Today, we also celebrate “World Mission Sunday”. This celebration reminds us again of our mandate to be missionaries. We should remember that missionaries are not limited to priests, religious brothers and sisters. The call to mission is for all of us. Even if we don’t leave the country or even if we just stay where we are, as long as we are being witnesses and practice the values that Jesus has taught us, then we have done our part in spreading the gospel. At the same time, we also pray and support priests, religious brothers and sisters who have left the comfort of their own hometowns or countries to be able to spread the word of God.