One of Jesus’ closest friends and Apostles
Reflections on the readings for the Feast of St. James (July 25, 2019): 2 COR 4:7-15; PS 126:1-2,2-3,4-5,6; MT 20:20-28
MISSIO offers “Mission In Scripture” to nurture a missionary heart, providing reflections on the missionary themes in the readings of Sundays, Feast Days and Holy Days
Today we celebrate the feast day of St. James who was chosen by Jesus along with his brother John to become Apostles.
They walked away from their father and their fishing boat on the Sea of Galilee. James and John were known to be hot-tempered, hence the name given to them: Sons of Thunder. Once they wanted to punish a Samaritan town that did not welcome them by calling down fire. Jesus had to reprimand them. They were also ambitious as seen in today’s Gospel. The brothers wanted to be singled-out for prominent positions in God’s Kingdom and assured Jesus that they were willing to drink from the cup that He would. Neither James and John nor the other Apostles understood how much would be asked of them in building the Kingdom. But Christ used the occasion to teach all of His disciples what true leadership must mean for those who follow His way. “You know that the rulers of the Gentiles lord it over them, and the great ones make their authority over them felt. But it shall not be so among you. Rather, whoever wishes to be great among you shall be your servant” (Matthew 20:25-26).
In company with John and Peter, James formed an inner circle of Apostles who were with Jesus at several significant times, including the Transfiguration and the Agony in the Garden. Despite flaws, St. James served Christ and His people by spreading the faith, possibly in Spain and then in Jerusalem. During the persecution of Christians under Herod Agrippa in the early 40s AD, St. James became the first of the Apostles to be martyred. He had indeed faithfully drunk from the cup of our Lord.
Suggested missionary action: On this feast of St. James the Apostle, let us offer a World Mission Rosary for the sake of the Church’s missions and all those they help spiritually and materially.