Jul 25 (St James, the Apostle – Mt 20:20-28)

A class of Standard Five students were being taught the value of friendship.

At the end of the class, the teacher, while revising, asked the children to give a short definition of friendship.

Little Jane lifted up her hand and replied: “A friend is someone who knows all about you…

… lavishes love on you, for being just as you are

… and yet, gently leads you, to become better than what you are!”

The Gospel of the Day is a beautiful account of Jesus, the True Friend who lavishes His Love for His disciples…

… and yet, gently, leads them to become better disciples!

The Gospel narrative begins with the mother of Apostles James and John, requesting the Lord to grant her children a privileged place in the Kingdom.

>> In her tenderness and affection as a mother, she wished that her children be always close to the Lord…

But the Lord replied…. “You do not know what you are asking”! (Mt 20:22)

The Lord was inviting the mother… and the disciples… and each one of us to understand…

… “What it really means to be close to the Lord!”

Did they really know what it meant to be Close to the Lord?

>> Do I really know what it means to be close to the Lord?

St James had enjoyed a privileged place in the Band of the Apostles of Jesus.

He was in the Core Group – one of the Three – Peter and John being the other two- who had the opportunity to be with the Lord in some of His special and extraordinary moments.

>> Raising the dead daughter of Jairus…

>> Transfiguration on the mountain top….

>> Moments of praying and agony in the Garden of Gethsemane….

James was indeed physically close to the Lord…

But the Lord today invites…with much love and affection…

>> James and his brother John

>> Their mother

>> The disciples

… and each one of us

>> To really realize the meaning, of asking “to be closer to Him”

Being close to the Lord means: Making changes in our lifestyle and to be in accord with the Will of God!

>> Look at the lives of Mother Mary….St Joseph… St Paul… St Peter…St Matthew

Being close to the Lord means: To get out of comfort zones & taking risks in life, for Christ’s sake!

>> Look at the lives of the Good Samaritan…Nicodemus…Simon of Cyrene…

Being close to the Lord means: Giving up a sinful life and amending our ways to seek for holiness!

>> Look at the lives of Zacchaeus… the Woman caught in adultery… the Samaritan Woman,… the Good Thief…

Being close to the Lord means: Embracing sufferings that come our way, seeing the Providence of God!

>> Look at the lives of Mother Mary……St John the Baptist….St Stephen…. St Paul…

In asking to be close to the Lord, we also say that…

… Yes Lord, I will share in your cup of suffering.

… Yes Lord, I will join you on the way of the Cross

… Yes Lord, I will unite with your death on the Cross!

The mother of John and James realized this…

>> That’s why we find her….at the Foot of the Cross (Mt 27:56)

She understood.

>> She got close to Jesus.

>> She remained till the end.

>> She drank the Cup!

John also realized this…

>> That’s we find him, according to tradition…suffering during the Roman Persecution

He understood.

>> He got close to Jesus.

>> He remained till the end.

>> He drank the Cup!

James also realized this…

>> That’s why we find him, killed by the sword…in witness to Christ, His Master (Acts 12:2)

He understood.

>> He got close to Jesus.

>> He remained till the end.

>> He drank the Cup!

The Lord also promises…

>> He who shares my cup…also shares my Glory!

>> He who shares my cross…also shares my Rising!

The Apostle James, went close to the Lord, drank the Cup…

… and he shares in the Joy of the Lord

Today, he intercedes and invites and beckons us…

>> To come closer to the Lord…

… and share in the Lord’s Joy and Glory!

Are we willing to be close…really close…

… to Jesus, our Beloved Friend?

He is our Best Friend “Who knows all about us …

… lavishes His love on us, for being just as we are

… and yet, gently leads us, to become better than what we are!”

Feast Day greetings of the Apostle St James!

God Bless! Live Jesus!

——————————–

Quotable-quote-a-day-with-St Francis de Sales (SFS) – “Friendship is completely founded upon communication and exchange…

… and cannot exist in practice, without sharing in the qualities and defects of the friend loved!”

——————————–

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