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Parish Daily Update 7/24/20

Dear Parish Family,

“Rejoice in hope, endure in affliction, persevere in prayer.”       Romans 12:12

Have a wonderful, safe weekend!  God bless you all with peace!

Pam

Feast of Saint James, Apostle

First Reading:  2 Corinthians 4:7-15

Brothers and sisters:
We hold this treasure in earthen vessels, that the surpassing power may be of God and not from us. We are afflicted in every way, but not constrained; perplexed, but not driven to despair;
persecuted, but not abandoned; struck down, but not destroyed; always carrying about in the body the dying of Jesus, so that the life of Jesus may also be manifested in our body. For we who live are constantly being given up to death for the sake of Jesus, so that the life of Jesus may be manifested in our mortal flesh. So, death is at work in us, but life in you. Since, then, we have the same spirit of faith, according to what is written, I believed, therefore I spoke, we too believe and therefore speak, knowing that the one who raised the Lord Jesus will raise us also with Jesus
and place us with you in his presence. Everything indeed is for you, so that the grace bestowed in abundance on more and more people may cause the thanksgiving to overflow for the glory of God.

Responsorial Psalm:  Ps 126:1bc-2ab, 2cd-3, 4-5, 6

R. Those who sow in tears shall reap rejoicing.
When the LORD brought back the captives of Zion,
we were like men dreaming.
Then our mouth was filled with laughter,
and our tongue with rejoicing.
R.    Those who sow in tears shall reap rejoicing.
Then they said among the nations,
“The LORD has done great things for them.”
The LORD has done great things for us;
we are glad indeed.
R.    Those who sow in tears shall reap rejoicing.
Restore our fortunes, O LORD,
like the torrents in the southern desert.
Those that sow in tears
shall reap rejoicing.
R.    Those who sow in tears shall reap rejoicing.
Although they go forth weeping,
carrying the seed to be sown,
They shall come back rejoicing,
carrying their sheaves.
R.    Those who sow in tears shall reap rejoicing.

Gospel:  Matthew 20:20-28

The mother of the sons of Zebedee approached Jesus with her sons and did him homage, wishing to ask him for something. He said to her, “What do you wish?” She answered him, “Command that these two sons of mine sit, one at your right and the other at your left, in your Kingdom.”
Jesus said in reply, “You do not know what you are asking. Can you drink the chalice that I am going to drink?” They said to him, “We can.”

He replied, “My chalice you will indeed drink, but to sit at my right and at my left, this is not mine to give but is for those for whom it has been prepared by my Father.”
When the ten heard this, they became indignant at the two brothers.
But Jesus summoned them and said, “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; whoever wishes to be first among you shall be your slave. Just so, the Son of Man did not come to be served but to serve and to give his life as a ransom for many.”

Homily

“Can you drink the chalice that I am going to drink?” Matthew 20:20-28

Today we celebrate the Apostle James by remembering what must have been the most embarrassing moment in his life.

Although he and his mother and brother didn’t think so at the time. The other members of Jesus company were understandably angry – but for the wrong reasons. In time, James and John came to understand that what their mother asked of Jesus was not only foolish but the antithesis of what Jesus was about. As he came to know Jesus, as he heard Jesus teach and watched Jesus heal, James and the others slowly began to understand that the Kingdom of God Jesus revealed was not about accomplishment or prestige or power as we value those things. The Kingdom of God that Jesus lived and died for was centered in selfless service, compassionate caring, and joy-filled generosity extended to everyone – everyone who, like us, are daughters and sons of God.

In the end, James must have looked back on this moment and thought, ‘What fools we were!’ How could we get it so wrong?’

But they eventually started to get it right. After today’s unpromising start, James and Peter and the others planted the seeds that became the Church – us.

Oh, and we, too, still get it wrong:  too many times we put our interests before the greater good; we betray the justice and mercy of Jesus’ Gospel we claim to embrace. But, like James, we’ve experienced the healing and hope of Jesus in our lives – and we change and grow as a result.

So, when the moment comes when the “chalice” is handed to us, may we be inspired by Jesus’ example of humble servanthood and find the courage and wisdom, the humility and compassion to drink.

May we seek the greatness of your reign, O God, by imitating the humility and generosity of your Christ. Help us to seek our places in your Kingdom by “drinking” your Son’s “chalice” of selflessness, by taking up his cross of compassionate service to others, by proclaiming in the simplicity of our own lives his Gospel of reconciliation and hope.

An Act of Spiritual Communion

My Jesus, I believe that You are present

in the Most Holy Sacrament.

I love You above all things,

and I desire to receive You into my soul.

Since I cannot at this moment receive You sacramentally,

I ask You to come spiritually into my heart.

I embrace You, trusting that you are already there and I unite myself wholly to You.

Never permit me to be separated from You.

Amen.

St James the Apostle

St. James, known as the Greater, in order to distinguish him from the other Apostle St. James, Jesus cousin, was St. John’s brother. With Peter and John, he was one of the witnesses of the Transfiguration, as later he was also one with Jesus in the garden of Gethsemane where Jesus underwent his agony in the garden. He was beheaded in Jerusalem in 42 or 43 on the orders of Herod Agrippa. Since the ninth century Spain has claimed the honor of possessing his relics, though it must be said that actual proof is far less in evidence than the devotion of the faithful. The pilgrimage to St. James of Compostella in the Middle Ages attracted immense crowds; after the pilgrimage to Rome or the Holy Land, it was the most famous and the most frequented pilgrimage in Christendom. The pilgrim paths to Compostella form a network over Europe; they are dotted with pilgrims’ hospices and chapels, some of which still exist. St. James is mentioned in the Roman Canon of the Mass.

St. James
In Spain, he is called El Senor Santiago, the patron saint of horsemen and soldiers, and his great shrine at Santiago de Compostela in that country has been a place of pilgrimage for centuries. He is one of those that Jesus called Boanerges, “son of thunder,” the brother of John the Evangelist and the son of Zebedee the fisherman from Galilee.

St. James the Greater and his brother John were apparently partners with those other two brothers, Peter and Andrew, and lived in Bethsaida, on the north shore of the Sea of Galilee. How and where James first met Jesus, we do not know; but there is an old legend that makes Salome, his mother, a sister of Mary, and if this were the case, he would have known Jesus from childhood.

Along with Peter and his brother John, James was part of the inner circle of Jesus, who witnessed the Transfiguration, were witnesses to certain of His miracles, like the raising of the daughter of Jairus, and accompanied Him to the Garden of Gethsemane. Like his brother, he was active in the work of evangelization after the death of Jesus, and one legend, very unlikely, even has him going to Spain after Jesus’ resurrection.

His prominence and his presence in Jerusalem must have been well known, for scarcely a dozen years after the Resurrection, he became involved in the political maneuverings of the day and was arrested and executed by King Herod Agrippa. This was followed by the arrest of Peter also, so his death must have been part of a purge of Christian leaders by Agrippa, who saw the new Christian movement as a threat to Judaism.

Jesus had foretold this kind of fate when He prophesied that James and his brother John would “drink of the same chalice” of suffering as Himself. The two brothers had asked to be seated at the right of Jesus and at His left in His kingdom, and Jesus told them that they would be with Him in a far different way than they expected.

James’s death is the only biblical record we have of the death of one of the Apostles, and he was the first of that chosen band to give his life for his Master.

Excerpted from The One Year Book of Saints by Rev. Clifford Stevens

Patron: Against arthritis; against rheumatism; Antigua, Guatemala; apothecaries; blacksmiths; Chile; Compostela, Spain; druggists; equestrians; furriers; Galicia, Spain; Guatemala; horsemen; knights; laborers; Medjugorje, Bosnia-Herzegovina; Nicaragua; pharmacists; pilgrims; Pistoia, Italy; rheumatoid sufferers; riders; soldiers; Spain; Spanish conquistadors; tanners; veterinarians.

Symbols: Cockle shell; dark-bearded man holding a book; dark-bearded man holding a scroll; dark-bearded man holding a sword; dark-bearded man with a floppy pilgrim’s hat, long staff, water bottle, and scallop shell; elderly, bearded man wearing a hat with a scallop shell; key.