Sunday, July 25, 2010

Pentecost 9 (Feast of St. James)

Today's readings: Acts 11:27-12:5, Romans 8:28-39, and Mark 10:35-45.

Since today is the Feast of St. James the Elder, a martyr for Christ, we focus on four deaths.
  1. Death of Jesus Christ. As He told the disciples, the Son of Man came "to give His life as a ransom for many." God is for us! God gave His own Son for us - so of course He is also the giver of all good things.
  2. Death to self. James, our example, wanted a place at Christ's right hand - so he had to die to himself. A new James boldly preached at Pentecost; Jesus had transformed him! Thus we also die to ourselves, living now to Christ and our neighbor.
  3. Earthly death. James, the brother of John, was killed by the sword for the sake of Jesus Christ. Since He went before, we get to see immediately the benefits of His victory! There is no fear of dying for those who love Christ...for death itself has died!
  4. Herod's death. He aspired to deity, so God killed him, with worms, no less. (Josephus is more graphic, but my approaching class with cadavers perhaps biases me.) Lesson: don't play God. Ever. Instead, serve Him in your vocation.
Soli Deo gloria.

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