Twenty-ninth Sunday in Ordinary Time


Lectionary: 146

“Grant that in your glory
we may sit one at your right and the other at your left.”

James and John, the sons of Zebedee, it sounds like would have made good corporate executives. They were intelligent, worked hard, and knew what it took to get to the top. It helped too when their family had their interests at heart.They also had a good view of what management was;the closer they were to the boss, the better off they would be. They viewed this kingdom Jesus kept speaking about much like the kingdoms that surrounded them. They knew kings like Herod and emperors like Augustus. They did not however quite understand Jesus kingdom. At that time they were well familiar with Messiahs, and what these Messiahs aspired to; Messiahs in the past typically tried to overthrow a regime, place the crown on their heads, and lead their countrymen into a time of peace and prosperity. They followed the model of a commander, warrior, and king such as David.Their view of a kingdom was earthly, Jesus’s was different. Jesus kingdom was different, it was a restored kingdom where God was back in charge and the balance between heaven and earth was restored. In Jesus kingdom heaven was restored to its rightful place.It is not the view of a place after life, but a place in life;’thy kingdom come, thy work be done on earth as it is in heaven.”Bringing about this kingdom did not take another ruler, its ruler was God. What it did take was workers, servants, to build it up or more properly restore it. It was not through their rule that the kingdom came about, or through their rank; but through their service. To take a leading part in the Kingdom of God they have to reexamine their ideas of what a kingdom was, who its king would be, and what their part would be. Jesus tells them the answer to the last, their part was as a servant.Rulers of earthly kingdoms were in no short supply and rulers and kings who thought they were gods were in no short supply either. What was and is in short supply are servants and workers for God restoring that true kingdom.

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