Today we celebrate the feast of St. James. This James was the son of Zebedee and the brother of St. John the Apostle. He wore the martyr’s crown as he was put to death by Herod around the year 42 A.D. The Gospel reading today is from Matthew 20, where the mother of James and John brings them before Jesus and asks that her two sons sit at Jesus’ right and left when He comes into His Kingdom. Be sure to read Jesus’ response.
The first reading today from 2 Corinthians 4 is so powerful. St. Paul says, “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…” The job of the Apostles was to teach, to preach, to bring the faith to the world. They believed, therefore they spoke.
There are many today who think that believing and speaking do not necessarily go hand in hand. I disagree. While I am a big fan of the quote attributed to St. Francis of Assisi, Preach the Gospel at all times, use words if necessary, I believe that some people use that as a cop-out to not have to talk about their faith. Yes, it is absolutely essential that we live out the faith. But we must also speak out the faith. We must let others know the reason for our hope, our joy, our love, our life, our blessings. Minister to others, yes – but then make sure to tell them about Jesus Christ.
Father, give us the courage to speak to others of the saving love of Christ Jesus. Amen. St. James, pray for us.