featured image
"St James" by Pam Spano (CatholicMom.com) Rembrandt [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons[/caption]Today we acknowledge, celebrate, and ask the intercession of St. James, also known as St. James the Great. St. James was the brother of St. John. Both were hardworking fisherman, hauling fish against high sea winds which prompted Jesus to refer to the brothers as “Boanerges,” the “Sons of Thunder.” (Mark 3:17). This also reflected James volatile disposition. When a Samaritan town rebuked Jesus and all who followed him, James wanted to set the town on fire! Jesus had to rebuke him (Luke 9:52-55). James and his brother, John were desperate to have a place of honor next to Jesus. Perhaps jealousy of Peter drove them to ask Jesus for a place of honor in his kingdom (Mark 10:35-38). Despite his temperament, James was willing to accept any suffering he may have to endure. He eventually was beheaded by King Herod Agrippa. Though none of us will face being beheaded, some of life’s challenges certainly make it difficult to be a follower of Christ. We don’t want to accept the suffering that is part of our life, we only want to sit at a place of honor in the kingdom. In reality, how we handle those challenges is what will decide our place in the kingdom. Faithfulness, prayer, the prayers of others all help in taking our place near our Lord. There’s been times in my life where I have not handled my suffering well. I shook my fist at the heavens (literally!) and asked God to do unmerciful things to others because of what was done to me. I was immediately ashamed. When I look back on it now, I remind myself of St. James. I was desperate. Now I understand. "St James" by Pam Spano (CatholicMom.com) Copyright 2019 Pam Spano. All rights reserved.[/caption] Here’s a prayer to St. James from DailyPrayers.org:
Gracious God, we remember before You today Your servant and apostle James, first among the Twelve to suffer martyrdom for the Name of Jesus Christ; and we pray that You will pour out upon the leaders of your Church that spirit of self-denying service by which alone they may have true authority among your people; through the same Jesus Christ our Lord, who lives and reigns with You and the Holy Spirit, one God, now and forever. Amen. Glorious Apostle O Glorious Apostle, Saint James, who by reason of your fervent and generous heart was chosen by Jesus to be a witness of His glory on Mount Tabor, and of His agony in Gethsemane; you, whose very name is a symbol of warfare and victory: obtain for us strength and consolation in the unending warfare of this life, that, having constantly and generously followed Jesus, we may be victors in the strife and deserve to receive the victor’s crown in heaven. Amen. St. James the Apostle, pray for us.

Copyright 2019 Pam Spano