Jul 25 (Feast of St James, Mt 20:20-28)

A man who had an experience of conversion and a new life in the Lord describes:

“I never professed to be a Christian or anything like that.

But one morning as I was going about my business, I heard my colleague, in office, reading aloud the passage where Jesus asked Peter, ‘Simon, son of John, do you love Me?’

Something within, made me to wish with all my heart, that I could also answer them as Peter did.

But, I felt very sad that I could not!

Then this li’l thought came to me, `Well, if I cannot say so much as Peter, perhaps I could turn it around a little and find something easier.’

So I began to think there was one thing I could NOT say…

What was that?

I surely, could not say, ‘Lord, You know that I do NOT love you’!

And I found some comfort in that!

Strange, isn’t it?

At last I grew bold enough to look up and say:

‘Lord, You know all things. You know that I WANT to love you…’

That made me to think of His great love for me…

>> I thought of His life, of His words, of His Cross…

And almost before I knew what I was doing, I looked up and said:

‘Lord, you know all things, You know, that I DO love you'”

That was the blessed moment of conversion of the man…

… the moment of consciousness of forgiveness

… the moment of a fresh lease of life that was injected into him

Do I really love the Lord?

This is a question that each one of us need to pose to ourselves and answer honestly.

As humans, surely…

… we have our moments of weaknesses and frailty

… we have our spots of selfishness and pride

But if we are willing to lower down our minds – the vessels of pride and greed – then the Lord promises to raise to our hearts, the cup of joy and glory.

Today we celebrate the Feast of one such Great Person – St James – who willingly lowered his mind – the vessel of pride and greed – and enjoys today, as per the promises of the Lord…

… the cup of joy and glory raised to his heart!

The Gospel of the Day is the incident of the Mother of James and John – the Sons of Zebedee – seeking for a place of honour for her children when the Lord comes in His glory (Mt 20: 20-28)

She said to Jesus, “Command that these two sons of mine, may sit, one at your right hand and one at your left, in your kingdom” (Mt 20: 21)

This passage might seem quite awkward to be read on the Feast day of St James.

Here is a passage…

… that brings to light the natural desire of many humans to possess honour and to enjoy constant glory

… that calls to our attention the fact that human limitations of greed and appetite for positions, can affect even the close followers of the Lord

In a way, this passage shows the weaker side and the frail dimension that can very much be found in the followers of the Lord.

Yet, the pertinent question of the Lord, “Can you drink the cup that I am going to drink?” (Mt 20: 22), would have probably sunk deep into the heart of St James, the Apostle.

He would realise the full meaning of that statement gradually…

… as He witnessed more and more the works of Jesus

… as He became a witness to the Passion, Death and Resurrection of the Lord

… as He himself, would, one day, give up his life, in martyrdom for His Beloved Master

This then is what we celebrate on this feast day:

As humans, we have our weakness.

>> Yet, if we be constantly with the Lord, we would slowly be purged of these frailties and grow more and more, in the Image of Christ.

The more we are in the perfumed presence of the Lord, the more His fragrance would envelop and enfold our lives.

Do we feel weak or full of vulnerability or consider that being a “true” follower of the Lord is just not my cup?

Then, let’s look to St James, the Apostle for greater inspiration and strength.

We all need to have our moments of conversion…

… moments of consciousness of forgiveness

… moments of a fresh lease of life that will be injected into us by the power of the Spirit

This alone can help us, to say, with sincerity and honesty – ‘Lord, you know all things, You know, that I DO love you'”

St James invites us: to lower down our minds – the vessels of pride and greed – and allow the Lord to fulfil His promise, of raising to our hearts, the cup of joy and glory!

Happy Feast of St James, the Apostle!

God Bless! Live Jesus!

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