Homily (Reflection) for the Feast of Saint James, Ap. (25th July, 2018) on the Gospel and the Feast
Ps 125. (R. v.5);
Saint James was son of Zebedee and Salome, and brother of Saint John, cf. Matt 4:21. He was a fisherman and one of the twelve apostles of Jesus Christ, cf. Matt 4:21; Lk 5:10; Matt 10:2. Saint James is also referred to as James the Greater to distinguish him from the other apostle James, son of Alphaeus, cf. Acts 1:13; Matt 10:3. Jesus nicknamed James and his brother, John, Boanerges, meaning, sons of thunder, cf. Mk 3:17. He was killed with the sword by King Herod in c. 44 AD, cf. Acts 12:2. And according to tradition, he was the first apostle to be martyred.
Topic: A follower of Christ.
The mother of James and John came to Jesus with the duo and made this request, “Declare that these two sons of mine will sit, one at your right hand and one at your left, in your kingdom.” They even promised their readiness to drink the cup He was about to drink. Yet Jesus told them that those positions were reserved for those the Father had prepared them for. Their action infuriated the rest. Jesus gave them this teaching,
You know that the rulers of the Gentiles lord it over them, and their great ones are tyrants over them. It will not be so among you; but whoever wishes to be great among you must be your servant, and whoever wishes to be first among you must be your slave.
Following Christ involves a process of formation that results in transformation. Hence, the gospel reads, “And he appointed twelve, whom he also named apostles, to be with him, and to be sent out to proclaim the message” (Mk 3:14). In the letters of Saint Paul, he talked about old and new selves, cf. Rom 6:6-11; Eph 4:17-24.
In today’s gospel, we see Saint James among others being transformed. We also see a similar thing in the gospel according to Luke when they wanted to call down fire from heaven, cf. Lk 9:51-55.
We celebrate him today because he assimilated this process of transformation unlike those who went away, cf. Jn 6:66. Now the question is, ‘Do you assimilate this process or do you go away?’
Bible Reading: Rom 12:1-8; 15:1-6.
Thought for today: We follow Christ to learn from Him, cf. Matt 11:29.
Let us pray: Christ, teach us what it means to be your disciple – Amen.
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May God bless you all+
Saint James – Pray for us.