The Gospel Today
Wednesday of the Eight Week in Ordinary Time
Mk 10: 32-45
The disciples were on the way, going up to Jerusalem,
and Jesus went ahead of them.
They were amazed, and those who followed were afraid.
Taking the Twelve aside again, he began to tell them
what was going to happen to him.
“Behold, we are going up to Jerusalem, and the Son of Man
will be handed over to the chief priests and the scribes,
and they will condemn him to death
and hand him over to the Gentiles who will mock him,
spit upon him, scourge him, and put him to death,
but after three days he will rise.”
Then James and John, the sons of Zebedee,
came to Jesus and said to him,
‘Teacher, we want you to do for us whatever we ask of you.”
He replied, ‘What do you wish me to do for you?”
They answered him,
“Grant that in your glory
we may sit one at your right and the other at your left.”
Jesus said to them, “You do not know what you are asking.
Can you drink the chalice that I drink
or be baptized with the baptism with which I am baptized?”
They said to him, ‘We can.”
Jesus said to them, “The chalice that I drink, you will drink,
and with the baptism with which I am baptized, you will be baptized;
but to sit at my right or at my left is not mine to give
but is for those for whom it has been prepared.”
When the ten heard this, they became indignant at James and John.
Jesus summoned them and said to them,
“You know that those who are recognized as rulers over the Gentiles
lord it over them,
and their great ones make their authority over them felt.
But it shall not be so among you.
Rather, whoever wishes to be great among you will be your servant;
whoever wishes to be first among you will be the slave of all.
For the Son of Man did not come to be served but to serve
and to give his life as a ransom for many.”
Reflection (Sem. Jul Elden D. Nuique)
When I heard the call to become a priest, my first choice was to become a Jesuit. I chose that because my mature forays into the spiritual life came from the teachings of Ignatius Loyola. I entered their pre-novitiate program and spent one year with them; I even went to Bukidnon to learn the physically demanding nature of mission work with the indigenous people of those mountains. However, at the end of that year, they rejected my application to the novitiate. I felt betrayed by people I trusted and abandoned by the God that I loved.
Afterwards, I could no longer go back to the work I had left before I followed the call to priesthood. I lost all taste for corporate life and I knew that I still possessed a priestly vocation deep inside. I chose campus ministry work so that I could help in spiritual guidance to college students. While I was doing that, I also applied to San Jose Seminary and Holy Apostles Senior Seminary or HASS. My preference was the former and the latter was out of obedience to my bishop, whom I consulted and sought permission to join the Diocese of Antipolo. When San Jose rejected me, I felt devastated for that was the second time my plans were thwarted. I continued with my application to HASS and, when I received the acceptance letter in March, my joy knew no bounds! After two years in seminary formation, I knew myself better, I realized that this was the best environment for my advanced stage in life (read: old), and I was closer to God than I had ever been before.
God knows what is best for me. I can never claim that my plans exceed his plans. At thirty-six years old, I am learning to let go of control and I am handing the reins of my life to God. In my future ministry as a priest, I do not wish to lord my authority over anyone; the first person I will not lord over is I. My only Lord is God.
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