HOMILY, SATURDAY, 16TH WEEK IN ORDINARY TIME, YEAR A
ST JAMES, AP [FEAST]
2 Cor 4:7-15, Matthew 20:20-28
THEME: SECURING A PLACE AT THE SAVIOUR’S SIDE
Today we celebrate the feast of St James. He was a full cousin of Jesus. He was one of the two disciples whose mother came to seek from Jesus the place at his side. Though, this request seemed to paint James and his brother as ambitious people, it was made at a critical time in the life of Jesus. It came when his death was approaching, when he had started informing them of the bitter cup that was awaiting him.
However, the request was made in faith. It was full of their unflinching confidence in the destiny of the Saviour. Though ambitious for a place of honour beside the Lord, they knew the implications. James and John never believed that it would be easy. It is a fact that life in itself is a bundle of challenges. Those who want to pass through it the easy way will always find it hard. The only way into life is to share in Christ’s suffering. James was ready for it.
The Lord asked them, “Are you able to drink the chalice I am to drink?” They said to him, ‘we are able’” James actually drank the cup when he died a martyr for the gospel. Acts 12:2. He was the first of the apostle to die a martyr.
On the part of Jesus, he never coated his speech with sugar. He was very sincere to have opened the reality of the crosses and struggles that await those who choose to follow him. Unlike the others disciples, the Lord Jesus accommodated the ambition of James and John and gently led them into accepting the path that leads to the place at his side.
This shows that the Lord is ever ready for us. He may be supplying our needs; he may work with or through us, despite our wrong motives. We must not take this for granted, thinking that he always approves our ways. He is patient with us, because he knows that he is taking us somewhere. He is preparing us for something greater than our petty needs and short-sighted ambitions.
Like apostle James, let us prepare ourselves to share the Lord’s cup.
O Lord, I truly love you. Do not count my human inclinations against me. Give me the heart to see things the way you would see them. Strengthen me that I may tread the path that leads to the place beside you. Thy kingdom come.