1 Peter 1: 18-25
Mark 10: 32-45


The poor old disciples and apostles today are really a little bit clueless and dim. They seem to be trailing behind Jesus who is walking ahead of them as they journey towards Jerusalem.

Jesus knew exactly what lay ahead of him and had on two previous occasions spelt it out to them. And now for the third time he had to do the same – that he, the Son of Man, was going to be handed over to the Jewish leaders, would be condemned to a gruesome death by the Romans but that he would rise again.

They may have heard this but they certainly did not listen to what Jesus was actually saying. And herein lies the difference. Hearing is a physical act; listening is a spiritual one. It would seem that they did not want to understand with their hearts and minds. What Jesus was saying was not was expected of the Messiah. It is as if they were walking around with their fingers in their ears, saying ‘lalalalala.’

And then there is James and John, also known as the Sons of Thunder for their impetuousness. They wanted to secure for themselves a place directly by Jesus in his glory. All the other disciples were up in arms about this request due to their jealously. Jesus’ patience must have been really tested but he takes these opportunities to explain what it means to be his disciple – it is about putting the other first, to serve, to be humble, that despite the world rejecting what he has to offer greater things will be given to his followers.

Despite the uncertainties in our lives and our lack of understanding and trust in the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit, they will never abandon us. They will stop and explain things in their own way. All we have to do is to open our hearts and minds. This is the gift of discernment given to us by the Holy Spirit.

Come Holy Spirit, fill the hearts of your faithful. Enkindle in them the fire of your love. Send forth your Spirit and our hearts shall be recreated and you will renew the face of the earth.

Victoria Raw is parishioner of Te Whetu O Te Moana, Star of the Sea Marlborough, NZ and is active in lay ministry.