A stunning first reading, so clearly pre-figuring the Passion.
For if the just one be the son of God, God will defend him
and deliver him from the hand of his foes.
With revilement and torture let us put the just one to the test
that we may have proof of his gentleness
and try his patience.
Let us condemn him to a shameful death;
for according to his own words, God will take care of him.
I love Old Testament readings that do this.
The Gospel reading is from St. Mark, where the disciples are arguing, arguing as to who among them is the best disciple. What are they, like junior high students or something? I’m the best, says one. No way, I’m so totally the best of the best, says another. I’m pleased at how utterly human they are, like we are as followers today, as much as I’m annoyed by them.