Saint James, apostle - Feast

Saint Matthew 20:20-28.
by Daily Gospel | Source: Daily Gospel
Second Letter to the Corinthians 4:7-15.

But 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.

Psalms 126(125):1-2ab.2cd-3.4-5.6.
 
A song of ascents. When the LORD restored the fortunes of Zion, then we thought we were dreaming.

Our mouths were filled with laughter; our tongues sang for joy. Then it was said among the nations, "The LORD had done great things for them."
Our mouths were filled with laughter; our tongues sang for joy. Then it was said among the nations, "The LORD had done great things for them."
Our mouths were filled with laughter; our tongues sang for joy. Then it was said among the nations, "The LORD had done great things for them."

Our mouths were filled with laughter; our tongues sang for joy. Then it was said among the nations, "The LORD had done great things for them."

The LORD has done great things for us; Oh, how happy we were!
Restore again our fortunes, LORD, like the dry stream beds of the Negeb.
Those who sow in tears will reap with cries of joy.

Those who go forth weeping, carrying sacks of seed, Will return with cries of joy, carrying their bundled sheaves.

Holy Gospel of Jesus Christ according to Saint Matthew 20:20-28.

Then the mother of the sons of Zebedee approached him 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 cup that I am going to drink?" They said to him, "We can."

He replied, "My cup 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."

Commentary of the day

Saint John Chrysostom (c.345-407), priest at Antioch then Bishop of Constantinople, Doctor of the Church
Homilies on Saint Matthew's gospel, no. 65, 2-4 ; PG 58, 619 ( cf. breviary : 25/07)

To drink his cup so as to sit at his right


Through their mother's mediation, the sons of Zebedee press Christ as follows in the presence of their fellow apostles: «Command that we may sit, one at your right side and one at your left» (cf. Mk 10,35f.)... Christ hastens to free them from their illusions, telling them they must be prepared to suffer insults, persecutions, even death. «You do not know what you are asking. Are you able to drink the cup that I shall drink?» Let no one be surprised to see the apostles displaying such imperfect dispositions. Wait until the mystery of the cross has been fulfilled and the strength of the Holy Spirit given to them. If you want to see the strength of their souls, take a look at them later on and you will see them to be above all human weakness. Christ does not conceal their pettiness so you will be able to see what they become later on by the power of the grace that will transform them...

«You do not know what you are asking; you do not know how exceedingly great this honor is, how wonderful, or how it surpasses the heavenly powers themselves.» Then he adds: «Are you able to drink the cup that I drink?» You are speaking to me of honor and wreaths, he says, but I am speaking of contests and sweat. For this is not the time for prizes, nor will my glory be revealed now. Instead this present life is one of slaughter, war and dangers.

Notice how he does not ask them directly: «Can you endure death? Can you shed your blood?» How then does he put it? «Can you drink the cup?» Then he coaxes them with the words: «The cup that I drink», so that they may be the more ready as they will be partners with him... Later on you will see this same John, who here approached Christ with the petition, gave precedence always to Saint Peter... James, however, did not live long after. From the beginning he was moved with great zeal. He gave up all earthly interests and attained such an inexpressible degree of excellence that from among the apostles he was killed the first (Acts 12,2).

















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