Today’s reading from Mark’s gospel is one of my favorites, but with some caveats. I love what Jesus teaches his apostles after his conversation with James and John (Zebedee’s sons):
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.
It reminds me of a story one of our well-loved parishioners tells about when he and his wife first arrived at Padre Serra. She asked him how they would ever get to know people and be part of this new community into which they had moved. His answer was something like this: “That’s easy. Whatever activity or event we go to, we just stay after and help clean up.” They did that, and, sure enough, their experience was exactly as he’d predicted. They got to know more and more people, good people, who came to love and value them and they felt themselves more and more deeply drawn into the life of the parish and its people.
It is taking me a little longer to learn this lesson but I can say that in some cases where I’d rather not, but it seemed the only right thing to do, when I pitched in and helped with post-party or post-meeting cleanup, it has proved to be a way of connecting to other people and I walk away with a sense of peace.
I have a long way to go. This willingness to be of service comes from a radical sense of the value of the person we try to help, indeed, from an awareness of their having been made in God’s image and likeness. Saints see that value readily, even in the most wretched (St. Teresa of Calcutta comes to mind). For me, I have to make an effort of will sometimes, and ask for God’s help to see it in the people I encounter at home, or at work, or in the news.
Returning to the conversation between Jesus, James and John before the passage above. It seems that the two apostles are looking for a shortcut to greatness. “Grant that in your glory we may sit one at your right and the other at your left.” When Jesus says to them “You do not know what you are asking. Can you drink the cup that I drink or be baptized with the baptism with which I am baptized?” their glib response “we can” leaves me shaking my head at their apparent cluelessness. Of course James and John did go on to become great saints, so maybe there is hope for me when I am dense and self-absorbed, but not without cost:
The cup that I drink, you will drink, and with the baptism with which I am baptized, you will be baptized
If I read this correctly, there will be suffering for me, even were I to follow Jesus perfectly (which of course I can’t). It’s the second reading from the letter to the Hebrews that gives me (us) hope, in spite of my desire for glory and my reluctance sometimes to roll up my sleeves and serve. The author, referring to Jesus, says:
For we do not have a high priest who is unable to sympathize with our weaknesses, but one who has similarly been tested in every way, yet without sin. So let us confidently approach the throne of grace to receive mercy and to find grace for timely help.
Thanks be to God. Let’s pray for one another.
4th Tuesday of the month
Tuesday, October 23
VIRTUS® Protecting God's Children™
VIRTUS® Keeping the Promise Alive™
For more information about the VIRTUS® programs above, please visit www.virtusonline.org
Baby Bottle Collection
Aubrey Alexander or Teresa Runyon
We have partnered with VC Foster Kids' Faith in Motion program, our parish invites you to consider the following ways to support and care for children in the foster care system from birth to transitioning young adults and their families.
There are many ways to get involved. Become a:
To learn about the many ways to be involved from prayer companion to becoming a foster family and everything in between and/or to help with our first project, email Teresa Runyon or Aubrey Alexnader
Also visit: Care
(805) 482·6417, firstname.lastname@example.org
Find more information and the list of support ministries that are open and offered right here at the parish at our Care & Support Ministries webpage.
Serra Seniors are parishioners and guests who gather for spirituality and fellowship October to May.
Contact: Patricia Matthews
Wednesday, October 24
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Santa Barbara room
No class on October 24.
Marg (805) 405 · 9901
St. John’s Pleasant Valley Hospital
This new sacred space will be light and airy, surrounded by art, and serve as a place of solace and hope for patients, families, visitors and staff to reflect, pray and heal.
Donors are invited now to invest in the future of health care in Camarillo and to become part of the next generation of this great community hospital.
To learn more call for a tour and details (805) 988·2635 or visit www.supportstjohns.org/chapel-at-pv
A branch of Catholic Charities, Camarillo Office: (805) 987 · 2083
1620 Ventura Blvd, Camarillo
An Altar Server is a minister who is trained to anticipate the needs of the presider during liturgy and meet those needs with grace and reverence. This vital ministry involves over 100 of our young people in grades 5 through 12. Training takes place once a year over seven weeks in late winter/early spring. Parents are required to attend the first training session with their child(ren). Installation of first year altar servers takes place in October. We are so proud that our altar servers, led by Mr. Bob Shadduck, are invited to serve at the Cathedral on different occasions every year.
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About Bob Shadduck
Bob Shadduck co-authored Guide for Servers (Español), a book in The Liturgical Ministry Series published by Liturgy Training Publications in Chicago.
Our Lady of Perpetual Help Novena
On June 13, 2018 we celebrated the third anniversary of the start of our devotion.
Select to find the latest updates.
Becoming Catholic RCIA
Behind The Scenes
Holy Day Of Obligation
Message Of The Week