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St James Apostle

St. James, Apostle, Wednesday, 25-07-18
2 Cor 4:7-15 / Matthew 20:20-28

During His life on earth, Jesus singled out three apostles out of the twelve apostles to be with Him in the special and unique moments of His ministry.

They were Peter, John and James, whose feast day we celebrate today.

They were with Jesus in His healing ministry as well as at the Transfiguration.

Although James had the privilege of being in the inner circle of the apostles, he did not quite understand the mission and purpose of Jesus. 

As we heard in the gospel, he and his brother John had ideas about getting special positions in the earthly kingdom that they thought Jesus was going to establish. 

But for all his misconceptions, James wanted to be with Jesus. 

He had found the one whom he wanted to follow, even though he had yet to understand fully that his Master came to serve and to eventually give His life as a ransom for many. 

Nonetheless, in the end, St. James would be the first among the apostles to give up his life in witness to his Master. 

So even though St. James was in the inner circle of the apostles, he was an earthenware jar that holds the privilege of being chosen by Jesus. 

The 1st reading reminds us that like St. James, we are also earthenware jars holding the treasures of God. 
St. James, let us pour out these treasures in love and service to God and neighbour. 

We can only inherit the kingdom of God when we give up our lives for others. 


There is a popular pilgrimage in Europe that is known as the Compostela.
It is a traditional pilgrimage to the grave of St. James and it is known as the "Way of St. James". 

According to legend, the remains of St. James are held in Santiago de Compostela in Galicia (Spain), and St. James is also the patron saint of Spain. 

And according to the local tradition, St. James went as far as Spain to preach the gospel, and there he had a vision of the Blessed Virgin Mary and then he returned to Judea where shortly after he was beheaded by King Herod Agrippa in the start of the persecution of the Church. 

Hence he was the first of the apostles to be martyred and the first of the apostles to offer his life in witnessing to Christ. 

Yes, St. James drank the cup that his Master drank and like his Master, he also offered his life as a ransom for many. 

This feast of St. James also reminds us that our life is a pilgrimage on earth in a journey towards our eternal home in heaven. 

In this pilgrimage we understand what St. Paul said in the 1st reading - We are only earthenware jars that hold the treasures of God. 

Like St. James, let us pour out our life in service of God and others, so that, as the 1st reading puts it - the more grace is multiplied among people, the more thanksgiving there will be to the glory of God.