Saturday, XIV Week of Ordinary Time, Year A

Saint James Apostle, pray for us

Readings: 1st: 2 Cor 4:7-15; Ps: 125; Gos: Mt 10:24-33

This brief reflection was written by Fr. Njoku Canice Chukwuemeka, C.S.Sp. He is a Catholic Priest and a member of the Congregation of the Holy Spirit (Spiritans). He is a missionary in Puerto Rico, the island of enchantment. He is the Chancellor of the Dioceses of Fajardo-Humacao, Puerto Rico; the Parish Priest of Parroquia la Resurrección del Senor, Canovanas and the Major Superior of the Congregation of the Holy Spirit (Spiritans), Circumscription of Puerto Rico and Dominican Republic. For more details and comments contact him at:  canice_c_njoku@yahoo.com, canicechukwuemeka@gmail.com.

Today, the Saturday of the sixteenth week of ordinary time, the Church honors one of the pillars of our faith, Saint James, Apostle.

According to today’s gospel James was the son of Zebedee. Together with his brother John, he was among the earliest disciples of Christ.

The call of James and his brother John was a spectacular one. It is a good example of what total submission to God means.

After calling Peter and Andrew, Christ saw James the son of Zebedee and his brother John. He called them too. Living their father Zebedee, they followed him. (Mark 1:19-20).

From this moment they remained faithful to Christ and became very important members of his ministry. James was privileged to witness the transfiguration with his brother John (Luke 9:28–36).

Today’s gospel, is an account of the petition of the mother of James and John for her sons. She said to Christ: “Command that these two sons of mine sit, one at your right and the other at your left, in your Kingdom.”

This was a very ambitious request. However, Christ simply responded, by reminding them of the implication of their request: “Can you drink the chalice that I am going to drink? Of course, they responded: “We can.”

James worked hard to protect and defend the faith that he received from Christ. He presided over the first council of Jerusalem with Peter (Acts 15:2–35).

Eventually, James drank the cup he promised to drink. He became the first Apostle to suffer martyrdom during a persecution. “King Herod had James, the brother of John, killed by the sword.” (Acts 12:1-3).

Through his martyrdom, he bore a greatest witness to Christ. Tertullian (160 AD) said: “The blood of the martyrs is the seed of the Church” (Apologeticus, L.13). This witness with his blood continues to sustain our Christian faith till today.

Today, as we honor this great Apostle, let us ask God keep us faithful to our vocation, so that we may endure till the end.

Saint James Apostle, pray for us!

Peace be with you all!

Maranatha!

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