Today we celebrate the Feast of St. James. This James is the son of Zebedee and the brother of St. John the Apostle. He is often known as James “The Greater,” only because he is mentioned first (before the other James) in the listing of the Apostles. Our first reading is from 2 Corinthians 4. I hope you’ll take the time to read it. It is beautiful. The Gospel reading is from Matthew 20, where the mother of James and John asks Jesus if her two sons can sit at his right and left when he comes into his kingdom.
Tradition says that St. James went to Spain to preach after Pentecost. His remains are in the Cathedral of St. James in Santiago de Compostela, Spain. Hundreds of thousands of pilgrims walk the Camino de Santiago, or The Way of St. James, each year, ending at the Cathedral. In art, James often bears the attributes of the pilgrim: hat, staff, gourd, and scallop shell.
Next month I will be blessed to walk the first half of the Camino - The Way. If we look at the life of St. James as a pilgrim, we should strive to walk that same path: leaving everything to follow Jesus and taking His message to wherever God calls us, willing to give our lives for the cause. May our pilgrim journey mirror St. James'.
Father, guide us along our pilgrim journey as you did St. James. May we be willing to give all to you, through your Son, Jesus Christ. Amen.