- Tuesday, 25 July 2017 -
Saint James, apostle - Feast
Readings of day

Holy Gospel of Jesus Christ according to Saint Matthew 20:20-28.

The mother of the sons of Zebedee approached Jesus with her sons and did him homage, wishing to ask him for something.
He said to her, "What do you wish?" She answered him, "Command that these two sons of mine sit, one at your right and the other at your left, in your kingdom."
Jesus said in reply, "You do not know what you are asking. Can you drink the cup that I am going to drink?" They said to him, "We can."
He replied, "My cup you will indeed drink, but to sit at my right and at my left, this is not mine to give but is for those for whom it has been prepared by my Father."
When the ten heard this, they became indignant at the two brothers.
But Jesus summoned them and said, "You know that the rulers of the Gentiles lord it over them, and the great ones make their authority over them felt.
But it shall not be so among you. Rather, whoever wishes to be great among you shall be your servant;
whoever wishes to be first among you shall be your slave.
Just so, the Son of Man did not come to be served but to serve and to give his life as a ransom for many."
Copyright © Confraternity of Christian Doctrine, USCCB

Eusebius of Caesarea
The martyrdom of Saint James the apostle

With the powerful cooperation of Heaven the whole world was suddenly lit by the sunshine of the saving word. At once, in accordance with holy Scriptures, the voice of its inspired evangelists and apostles went forth into all the earth, and “their words to the ends of the world” (Ps 19[18]:5). In every town and village, like a well-filled threshing floor, churches shot up, bursting with eager members... At the time of Claudius, King Herod made a determined attack on certain members of the Church, killing James the brother of John with the headsman's sword. Referring to this James, Clement [of Alexandria] tells an interesting story on the strength of an authentic tradition. It appears that the man who brought him into court was so moved when he saw him testify that he confessed that he, too, was a Christian. So they were both taken away together, and on the way he asked James to forgive him. James thought for a moment; then he said: “I wish you peace” and kissed him. So both were beheaded at the same time. Then, as we read in the sacred record, Herod, seeing how his action in putting James to death had given satisfaction to the Jews, laid hands on Peter as well, clapped him in prison, and was on the very point of perpetrating his murder too but for divine intervention. In the night an angel stood before him and he was miraculously released from his fetters and set free for the ministry of preaching (Acts 12:4-17).

Ecclesiastical History, II, 3, 9 (trans. G.A. Williamson; c.f. SC 31, p.54f. rev.)