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The power of the broom!

Mk 10, 35 - 45

We are in October, some are already preparing their brooms for October 31, and some said: the last deadline to verify their broom is October 31, lest they get a fine... but no, we are not talking about these brooms hehe, what Yes, we must verify our relationship with the power of the broom, but we will understand in the end.

Jesus is going up from the Jordan Valley, which is between 200 and 400 meters. below sea level, where the Dead Sea is, to Jerusalem, which is 754 mts. above sea level. This is the geographical context in which the evangelist Mark continues to delve into the school of the Master of Galilee. Everything is happening in the same chapter, the chap. 10 and the evangelist continues to insist on a school on the way.

Being disciples is not a title that is reached, it is a state of life on the way, and on this path, in the company of Jesus there are ups and downs, in fact the geographical context helps us to understand that our life as disciples of Jesus is a walk with him to reach Jerusalem, the highest level, the podium of the place par excellence where we have to arrive. But to be there, a continuous dialogue with the Master is necessary, sincere and open, in absolute confidence where I am not afraid to show myself as I am, with my lights and my shadows.

In this third week in which we are meditating on this tenth chapter, we will find ourselves with the third cause that hardens the heart, that disease detected by Jesus in the Jordan Valley, sclerocardia (σκληροκαρδίαν) that we meditate on in Mc 10,5 this "hardness of the heart" is the result of a series of causes that Jesus in this mobile school is helping us to detect in order to heal or better yet prevent.

We have been seeing the causes, a heart attached to the pleasures of this world reflected in adultery, a heart attached to riches reflected in the rich man who got stuck in the eye of the needle, and today the gospel tells us about a heart attached to the power reflected in two disciples of Jesus. A power that is not lived according to the criteria of Christ but those of the world. Thus, pleasures, riches and honors not lived according to God's plan become the main causes of sclerocardia, the hardness of heart that disciples must combat if we want to be true disciples.

Discernment is a continuous school, on the way, how is my heart? What pleasures, riches or honors and powers do I cling to with all my soul, with all my heart because it comes naturally and spontaneously? This clinging is sometimes the result of the wounds of the past that we have suffered, due to the sin of others, or due to our own sin or the result of self-defense, we each have our stories, but we cling.

And it is just so that Mark presents us on this path in which Jesus tries to take the disciples to the highest podium to give his life but in his own style, that Mark introduces us to John and James, sons of Zebedee, who do to Jesus a request without even fearing what the rest of the disciples will say: "We want you to do something for us, we want you to grant us to sit in your glory one at your right and the other at your left".

In this petition, James and John show that at least they know that Christ will be clothed with glory, because a few verses before the gospel has narrated that Jesus has said the why and for what purpose of going up to Jerusalem, he will receive a glory that passes through death . This is why Santiago and Juan take advantage of the occasion. Perhaps they have confused "glory" with the glory of men, because those who sit to the right and to the left are precisely those who have the power to decide together with the legislator who has superior power, or perhaps they have perfectly understood that this glory is "after..." a bloody death, a redemptive sacrifice, but maybe they 'didn't hear that', because normally the things we don't want to hear, we simply don't hear, because we love to hear what we want to hear. Anyway! They ask for it, and they do well to open their hearts and minds.

Jesus listens attentively to the request and answers: "They don't know what they are asking for." oh! Good thing, the teacher is kind and once again makes school asking questions, the Master loves to ask us questions, he loves to question us so that we can bring out what we carry inside, so that we discover our willpower, even more so he challenges them: "Will they be able to drink the chalice that I shall drink and be baptized with the baptism that I shall be baptized?" Jesus refers to his death on the cross, a sine qua non condition, without which one cannot think of receiving glory.

When Jesus asked James and John if they could drink the cup he was going to drink, he used the Greek verb diúnamai (δύναμαι) which means "to be able" and they answer affirmatively: Yes, we can! and Jesus confirms it: Yes they will! But Jesus immediately afterwards makes it very clear to them that sitting on the right or on the left, which refers to the position of honor that is destined for those that princes will place as their advisers or principals in their kingdoms and that it implies the power to dominate , to legislate, to govern, he has no power to designate it, because it is reserved to whom it is reserved. With this, Jesus is underlining that what is important is not the place one occupies in a kingdom, but sharing with him his same chalice and his same baptism, the intimate communion in the same project of love and dedication of life with the Master. .

For this reason, the question of Jesus is the most important and remains valid today for us his disciples as well. In fact, if we are sincere, it is a question that is constant and if we are sensitive to its voice within us, it launches it at us and constantly challenges us with it, it invites us to that intimate communion of love and dedication. We can hear that voice and that invitation in the depths of our hearts if we are not distracted or have not hardened our hearts with the desire for power: "Will you be able to drink this cup with me? Will you be able to enter into this passion of love with which I am baptized? Will you be able to see this person with my own eyes and suffer with him and give your life, your time, your belongings? Will you be able not to pass indifferent to this migrant? Will you be able to let That look of deep sadness sinks into your soul and moves you to the depths of your soul and changes your plans? In this circumstance, at this moment, at this stage of your life?

From this question, he will give the indications to the group of disciples on the way in which they will occupy positions of power and direction: You know that rulers oppress and dominate "Do not be so among you"; Jesus calmly accepts the wishes of the two disciples, "Whoever wants to be one of the greats, of those who command, of those who organize because they also have the capacity, LET IT BE, but "let it not be among you the way you do the rulers and dominators of this world". Quite a challenge, how should we govern? How to exercise power over the world and over people? How to be an authority and live authority when you have power over others in your hands?

Jesus therefore affirms two things, the first, that the disciples "will be able to drink the chalice" of Jesus and be baptized with his same baptism, that is, share his passion for redemption, and second, that there will be charges of responsibility over others, but that their way to live it will not be like the rulers of the world but according to the style that he sets before them: service and dedication. To be in front, as indicated by the Greek verb in this Sunday's Gospel, arjéin (ἄρχειν), means to be at the head, to be the one who begins, the one who has the power to indicate the beginning, to set the pace. The disciples will be in front, they will even have to go to the head, but not as the powerful of this world who oppress and dominate, but as my disciples in service and dedication. It is interesting to see the words that in verses 42-44 are opposed as in an equation:

katakiureiusin (κατακυριεύουσιν) which indicates the despotism of princes over the peoples, againstdeacons server (διάκονος) that indicates those who serve at the tables but whose service is in a personal capacity, and underlines the sense of voluntary service in favor of someone.

katexusiazusin (κατεξουσιάζουσιν) that indicates dominators who abuse their strength against the peoples, against godsslave (δοῦλος) that indicates those who are in a relationship of dependence and subordination, of service with respect to God, the absolute Lord kiúrios (κύριος), to which they fully belong.

Thus, Jesus sets the podium high: They will occupy positions of power but THEIR WAY of governing and ruling will be according to the style of Christ who governs VOLUNTARILY giving his life for redemption, and at the same time DEPENDENT on the will of the Father whom he obeys because all his life belongs to him, being the first means, therefore, "voluntarily giving life so that the Lord's will be fulfilled". The disciples must learn that to govern is not to be masters of the lives of their subjects, but rather as slaves of God, the Pattern of life and of all life, the faithful belong to whom they must serve, and they must learn that giving life is a voluntary action. and not imposed because:  

"No one takes my life, but I give it freely. I have the right to give it and receive it again. That is what my Father ordered me». Jn 10,18 and Mc 10,45 just concludes like this, Jesus stands as a model of ruler, as one who has in his hands the capacity for power and can exercise it: "The Son of man did not come to be served but to serve and to give his life as a ransom for many." power.

This week the gospel reminded me of Saint Martin de Porres, who was the illegitimate son of a Spaniard and a Panamanian slave in the days of the Spanish viceroyalty in Peru. Because he was a mulatto, he was despised and on his birth certificate "unknown father" appears. Boy of great faith who asks to become a friar and is received as a "donate" that is, the one who voluntarily donates himself for the services of the convent. He lived like this for 9 years, practicing the most humble trades and being the last of all. In the end he was admitted as a religious brother in the community and they gave him the profession of hairdresser and nurse. And then he did begin to do charity work with full hands.

The friars complained that Fray Martín wanted to turn the convent into a hospital, because he helped every sick person he found and even took some more serious and pestilential to put them in his own bed when he had no other place to receive them. With the help of several rich people in the city, he founded the Asilo de Santa Cruz to gather all the homeless, orphans and beggars and help them out of their pitiful situation. 

Although he tried to hide, however his fame as a saint grew day by day. He was consulted by even high personalities. The first thing many sick people asked for when they felt serious was: "Let the holy brother Martin come." And he never denied a favor to someone who could do it. He spent half the night praying. She would go to a large crucifix that was in her convent and tell her her sorrows and problems, and before the Blessed Sacrament and kneeling before the image of the Virgin Mary, she would spend long periods of time praying fervently.

The Archbishop became seriously ill and sent for brother Martín to get him cured for his serious pain. He said to him: How does His Excellency think of inviting a poor mulatto? But then he placed his hand on the place where he suffered severe pain, prayed with faith, and the archbishop immediately got better. The affection and admiration they had for the humble Fray Martín was so great that even the Viceroy of that time went to visit him on his deathbed to kiss his hand. He left for the Father's House on November 3, 1639, kissing the crucifix with great joy.

This is the saint of the broom, the humble saint of great power, his power was his ability to love and heal, and he exercised it in service, his life speaks for itself. And the Lord has given us so many talents, those talents mean "capacity" "power" but have we discovered them? do we know them? Are we aware of the wonderful gifts that we have each personally received? Make a list of the gifts you have received! If we did it from childhood, childhood, adolescence, youth, adulthood, old age...! we would not finish! And I mean all material and spiritual, goods, talents, education, faith experience, matrimonial, priestly, lay, religious vocation, ecclesiastical commissions and offices or simply being the head of the brooms like Saint Marti and for years. All of this BELONGS TO EACH OF US, no one has received what I have received and each of us has received what we have received... what have you done with it until today? What are you doing with it today? What are you willing to do with it and with Christ today?

In the gym where I do some exercise there is an instructor who either doesn't like me at all or her character is angry or she suffers that no one takes her into account I don't know, the thing is that there is always something to that he is scolding me, the other instructors know it and tell me not to pay attention to him. It does happen, and it happens that when you meet her you have the power to make a bad face at her, to attack her, to be indifferent or simply to say ok! and with a smile go ahead... no, no one said that it is easy or comfortable hahaha but I must say that I have conquered it, no, no one takes my life, I give it voluntarily, and my God makes me so happy and gives me a peace and a joy that the bitterness that people experience does not take away from me, and especially when I feel troubled I return to my God who looks at me with a heart full of love and embraces me in my sufferings and makes me relativize what I it is not worth giving it so much time or energy and it gives me back my life, then I HAVE THE POWER TO GIVE AND TO GIVE ME beyond my limits and my capacities or the limits of the other.

Christ's question still stands: will you be able to give yourself with me as an offering with all that you are and have for redemption? Will you be able to offer this chalice and enter this baptism that is to GIVE YOUR LIFE, your talents, your goods, your abilities as a ransom for many? You have the power, what will you do? oppress others by making them feel like you're the best? Dominate deciding when and to whom you give your life, your time, your talents depending on whether you like it or not, if it has done you good or has rejected you because you are not a gold coin for everyone to appreciate? Or are you willing to serve without looking at whom giving yourself voluntarily, when you are appreciated and recognized and when you are forgotten or judged?

Lord that I can know me deeply according to your look! May I recognize the gifts and talents, the abilities and powers that you have given me by pure grace! That I be aware of all the material and spiritual goods that I have received and that I do not cling to them as if they were mine so as not to harden my heart!

Let him enter the logic of the power of the broom! May my life be like Martin, a gifted!

That I put at the service of you and my brothers the abilities and talents that you have given me but in your own way! Not to make myself proud and harden as one who claims to be recognized and praised, but to enter and be with you "in your permanently raised chalice of Love" and to share your same sacrificial baptism!

So be with you the same love offering in the same delivery project! make me overflow like this in your chalice of your infinite tenderness, until eternity!

Praying we sing:

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