Wednesday, July 24, 2019
THURSDAY, 16TH Week IN Ordinary Time
ST. JAMES, Apostle
2 Cor 4: 7 – 15 / Mt 20: 20 – 28
St. James the Apostle, called "The Greater," was a son of Zebedee and the brother of St. John, Apostle and Evangelist. Beheaded in Jerusalem in 42 AD, he was the first Apostle martyred.
FROM THE 1ST READING: 2 Cor 4: 10 – 15
At any moment we carry in our person the death of Jesus, so that the life of Jesus may also be manifested in us. For we, the living, are given up continually to death for the sake of Jesus, so that the life of Jesus may appear in our mortal existence. And as death is at work in us, life comes to you.
We have received the same Spirit of faith referred to in Scripture that says: I believed and so I spoke. We also believe and so we speak. We know that he who raised the Lord Jesus will also raise us with Jesus and bring us, with you, into his presence. Finally, everything is for your good, so that grace will come more abundantly upon you and great will be the thanksgiving for the glory of God.
GOSPEL READING: Mt 20: 20 – 28
Then the mother of James and John came to Jesus with her sons, and she knelt down to ask a favor. Jesus said to her, "What do you want?" And she answered, "Here you have my two sons. Grant that they may sit, one at your right hand and one at your left, when you are in your kingdom."
Jesus said to the brothers, "You do not know what you are asking. Can you drink the cup that I am about to drink?" They answered, "We can." Jesus replied, "You will indeed drink my cup, but to sit at my right or at my left is not for me to grant. That will be for those for whom my Father has prepared it."
The other ten heard all this, and were angry with the two brothers. Then Jesus called them to him and said, "You know that the rulers of the nations act as tyrants over them, and the powerful oppress them. It shall not be so among you: whoever wants to be more important in your community shall make himself your servant. And if you want to be the first of all, make yourself the servant of all. Be like the Son of Man who has come, not to be served but to serve, and to give his life to redeem many."
In the first reading Paul reminds the followers of Christ that to follow Christ is to live as he did: "At any moment we carry in our person the death of Jesus, so that the life of Jesus may also be manifested in us. For we, the living, are given up continually to death for the sake of Jesus, so that the life of Jesus may appear in our mortal existence. And as death is at work in us, life comes to you."
We think of the Apostles as "extensions" of Jesus, those who had been with him in his public ministry who could then be "witnesses to his resurrection." After the resurrection of Christ and the descent of the Holy Spirit, the Apostles went out with great faith and courage to preach the Good News to the world. Except for John, the "beloved disciple," all the Apostles gave their lives in witness to their love of Jesus.
In today's reading we see them as simple ambitious men. Jesus had to teach them by word and example what true leadership and service were.
Let us not be discouraged with our failures and ambitions. We pray that God may help and purify us in the way he taught and trained his Apostles. We too can be effective witnesses to Christ and his saving death and resurrection.
FINALLY, WE PRAY FOR ONE ANOTHER, FOR THOSE WHO HAVE ASKED OUR PRAYERS AND FOR THOSE WHO NEED OUR PRAYERS THE MOST.
Have a good day!
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