Today is the feast day of St James the Greater. He was the brother of St John and, like him, a fisherman. He was one of the witnesses of the Transfiguration and one of those who slept through most of the Agony in the Garden. He was the first of the apostles to be martyred, being beheaded by King Herod Agrippa I to please the Jewish opponents of Christianity. He was buried in Jerusalem.
The corresponding gospel passage is Mt 20:20a.21b-23.25-28.
The mother of Zebedee’s sons came to Jesus and said to him, ‘Promise that these two sons of mine may sit one at your right hand and the other at your left in your kingdom.’ Jesus answered, ‘You do not know what you are asking. Can you drink the cup that I am going to drink?’ They replied, ‘We can.’ He said to them, ‘Very well; you shall drink my cup, but as for seats at my right hand and my left, these are not mine to grant; they belong to those to whom they have been allotted by my Father.’
Jesus called the apostles to him and said, ‘You know that among the gentiles the rulers lord it over them, and great men make their authority felt. Among you this is not to happen. No; anyone who wants to become great among you must be your servant, and anyone who wants to be first among you must be your slave, just as the Son of man came not to be served but to serve, and to give his life as a ransom for many.’
TODAY’S POINTERS ON GOD’S WORD (based on http://www.jesuit.org.sg)
- As you read the passage what words, phases or meanings caught your attention?
- The only single phrase description given by Jesus of his mission is the above: ‘the Son of man came not to be served but to serve, and to give his life as a ransom for many.’
- Jesus explained to His disciples that to be truly great is to serve without expecting a reward.
- Those of us who want to gain prestige, power and position in our service of God’s people will never serve in Christ-like ways, because Jesus came to “serve and not to served”. Let us pray for the grace of authentic and generous service of God’s people and for His greater glory. This may not always be easy given our fallen human nature, but we should keep trying to be more Christ-like.
If you have time, the following video is a speech made by Senator James Lankford. He speaks about the inconsistencies between our concern for animal rights and the terrible deaths inflicted upon aborted babies which are ignored because the subject is politically incorrect. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7bYeLo0fASU