The life of St. James shows how God works for good in His people, despite our failings
Reflections on the readings for the Feast of St. James (July 25, 2018): 2 COR 4:7-15; PS 126:1-2,2-3,3-5,6; MT 20:20-28
MISSIO offers “Preaching Mission,” as a homily help, providing connections to mission from the readings of Sundays, Feast Days and Holy Days.
On this day we celebrate the feast of St. James, an Apostle and the brother of St. John. We first meet him when Jesus calls James and John to leave their fishing nets behind and to follow Him.
They do and, along with St. Peter, become especially close to our Lord and are with Him for several momentous occasions. Perhaps the most notable being when Christ asked them to pray in the Garden after the Last Supper before He was betrayed by another Apostle, then arrested and taken away to be tortured and crucified. While Jesus recognized the faults of the two brothers, even nicknaming them the sons of thunder, He also knew their great worth.
The martyrdom of James, called the Greater, at the behest of King Herod is mentioned in the Acts of the Apostles. He is generally considered the first of the Twelve to lay down His life for his belief in Christ. Writing to early followers of our Lord, St. Paul described the way every Apostle experienced great hardship in going about the great mission of communicating the Good News: “We are…persecuted, but not abandoned; struck down, but not destroyed.… For we who live are constantly being given up to death for the sake of Jesus, so that the life of Jesus may be manifested in our mortal flesh” (2 Corinthians 4:8-9, 11). Now, we must be willing to open ourselves to Christ, letting Him manifest Himself in us, too.