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Sunday, October 21, 2018

A Homily – Mark 10:35-45 ©

The Gospel According to Mark – 2018.10.21

No Ransom

Jesus did not come to give his life as a ransom for many. We know this because there was no ransom to pay.

Our salvation is not linked to a cosmic debt, a debt owed by God to the Devil, one that Jesus paid on our behalf. The idea that Jesus gave his life as a ransom is based in that concept.

The meaning of the word salvation is, to make well. It is to be washed clean, to be made whole.

We did not live in a universe, in a world where we pay for our sins through blood sacrifices. We never have.

That concept is unjust, immoral and theologically bankrupt. It is rooted in superstition and magical thinking.

It must be rejected.

Listen to the teaching of Jesus. Find glory in the service we provide to one another, through love and care, by fostering hop and trust, by relieving people of their pain, and providing them comfort.

Remember this.

God made us and the entire universe in freedom. There is nothing allotted and nothing pre-ordained.

While it may be true that Jesus saw the inevitability of his own death as a practical reality and a likely possibility, it was not inevitable, his murder was unnecessary, it did not fulfil a cosmic purpose. 

The Son of Man Came to Give His Life As a Ransom for Many

James and John, the sons of Zebedee, approached Jesus. ‘Master,’ they said to him ‘we want you to do us a favour.’

He said to them, ‘What is it you want me to do for you?’

They said to him, ‘Allow us to sit one at your right hand and the other at your left in your glory.’

‘You do not know what you are asking’ Jesus said to them. ‘Can you drink the cup that I must drink, or be baptised with the baptism with which I must be baptised?’

They replied, ‘We can.’

Jesus said to them, ‘The cup that I must drink you shall drink, and with the baptism with which I must be baptised you shall be baptised, but as for seats at my right hand or my left, these are not mine to grant; they belong to those to whom they have been allotted.’

When the other ten heard this they began to feel indignant with James and John, so Jesus called them to him and said to them, ‘You know that among the pagans their so-called rulers lord it over them, and their great men make their authority felt. This is not to happen among you. No; anyone who wants to become great among you must be your servant, and anyone who wants to be first among you must be slave to all. For the Son of Man himself did not come to be served but to serve, and to give his life as a ransom for many.’

29th Sunday in Ordinary Time

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