Don’t worry, Jesus helps us shoulder our crosses

By Msgr. William Carr

29th Sunday in Ordinary Time

Isaiah 53:10-11; Hebrews 4:14-16; and Mark 10:35-45
James and John had ambition; nothing is wrong with that! Their career advancement depended on the Messiah; they wanted to be his chief cabinet members. But Jesus’ “kingdom” was not what they expected.
His “kingdom” meant that God was the ruler of every aspect of their lives. To “drink the cup” didn’t mean tasting his food to see if it was poisoned; it meant to “share in his suffering.”
In short, Jesus tells them that true greatness means service to others. The CEO in the kingdom of heaven is one who serves the needs of all others.
No one wants to suffer; no one in his right mind likes to suffer. But if we stand for what is right and true, we shall suffer! The first reading tells of the “Suffering Servant.”
If we stand for righteousness, we will win in the end, for God will not abandon us. Think of how wonderful life would be if every business, every industry, every profession, and every occupation were guided by these principles! Sad to say, we live in a world which is ruthlessly ruled by the market, by self-seekers, by those who care little for truth or virtue or for family or for human dignity. If we oppose the “system” we shall suffer.
Jesus showed the way. He is our high priest. He knows what we endure when we are loyal to Christian virtues. Let us, then, confidently approach the throne of his grace and put our trust in him. He won’t let us down; in the long run, he — and we — will win.

30th Sunday in Ordinary Time
Jeremiah 31:7-9; Hebrews 5:1-6; and Mark 10:45-52
There are none so blind as those who will not see, and none so deaf as those who will not hear.
Physical blindness is a terrible handicap; spiritual blindness is worse! Jesus is on his way to Jerusalem where he will be rejected by those who are spiritually blind. He will die because of them.
The last stop before Jerusalem was Jericho. He encounters a blind beggar and he cures him. He could cure physical blindness, but he cannot cure spiritual blindness unless a person WANTS to be cured!
Christians are supposed to be a people of joy. All things work together for the good of those who love God. The Lord promises us eternal happiness; he forgives our sins; he strengthens us in our weaknesses: All this is JOY!
But we can close our eyes and drag our chin in depression. We can choose to look down instead of up. We can think of the bad instead of the good. We can criticize instead of construct. We can choose to be blind.
Let us not wallow in self-pity, even when we are called to bear heavy crosses. Jesus helps us to shoulder our burden; he is with us; he can even cure of us our spiritual blindness if only we want to be cured.
Resolve today to be a person of joy: Let go of past hurts and grudges; commend your enemies to God’s care. Emphasize the positive, and let go of the negative. Always build up, and never tear down. Always forgive as you want the Lord to forgive you.
Do to others what you hope the Lord will do to you. Then you will be a person of joy — You will have better than 20/20 spiritual vision!