SATURDAY 25TH JULY 2020
FEAST OF ST JAMES
2 CORINTHIAN 4:7-15, MATTHEW 20:20-28
GOD CHOSE US TO HOLD HIS TREASURES
St James was one of the Apostles of Jesus who dedicated the whole of his life to the work of God. James and his brother John the evangelist were the sons of Zebedee, and they were fishermen with their father. Peter and his brother Andrew were also fishermen and thus they may have known one another and probably have been working together in the lake of Galilee before Jesus called them. Their mother Salome is believed to the sister of the blessed virgin Mary, which will make them first cousins of Jesus. These disciples especially James, Peter and John, enjoyed pride of place among other Apostles and they alone witnessed some miracles of Jesus such as the transfiguration, healing of the daughter of Jairus and the prayer in Gethsemane. It would be understood therefore that Salome will ask Jesus in the gospel reading that they should sit at his right and left hand in heaven.
Jesus in response teaches us that those who do not want to be servants, should not aim to be leaders. It is also good to note that whatever is worthwhile including making heaven is to be worked for and not given on relationship and friendship.
In the first reading of today, St Paul reminds us that what we hold is the treasure of God. We may see ourselves and the work of God we do as ordinary, but God has raised us to be worthy of handling his treasures.
St James understood it very well, and he was the first to drink the chalice of martyrdom which he told Jesus he was ready to drink. He was martyred in AD43 by Herod Agrippa I, the grandson of Herod the great who wanted to please the Jews who were angry with the Christian faith. What is very shocking is that the person who accused James and brought him to Herod got converted by the fearless witness of faith by James. The accuser was martyred with James.
Knowing that we are human beings, let us learn to serve God and our neighbours in humility, and we will achieve our aim. God help us. Amen.
Fr Michael Osatofoh Eninlejie MSP