July 25, 2018
(St. James, Apostle)
Brothers and sisters: We hold this treasure in earthen vessels, that the surpassing power may be of God and not from us. We are afflicted in every way, but not constrained; perplexed, but not driven to despair; persecuted, but not abandoned; struck down, but not destroyed; always carrying about in the body the dying of Jesus, so that the life of Jesus may also be manifested in our body. For we who live are constantly being given up to death for the sake of Jesus, so that the life of Jesus may be manifested in our mortal flesh. 2_Cor_4:7-15
. . . . .
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, 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.” Mt_20:20-28
Jesus gave the nickname, Boanerges to His disciples, the brothers James and John. It was a name, derived from the Hebrew, that meant – Sons of Thunder. So we might surmise that they had, what psychologists would call today, A-type personalities. They were the loud ones, always on top, always planning what’s next and always ready to jump on finding a solution.
So it would be no surprise that they would be discussing with their mom their future Leadership in this new Kingdom that Jesus was always talking about. And when their plan became public, the Thunder DID roar, but not from those sons, instead it came from their jealous, brother disciples.
So Jesus quickly quenched their fire and told them just the opposite of what they were wanting to hear. He told them that they were not going to BE the authoritative, judgmental, power-hungry leaders that they saw in the “world’s” model. Instead, the Leaders in God’s Kingdom would be Servant Leaders. They would lead by their example to others and not by the loudness of their voices.
And that example was exactly what Jesus modeled to them through HIS own life. It was a life that would not always be easy. Although, it was a life that would be strengthened by the Power of God and filled with the Grace and Peace of the Holy Spirit.
And the reward for the challenge of this life of service, would not come in the form of more: power, or money, or status, or fame. The reward for lives totally given up to God: after the heartaches, after the suffering, after the persecutions, after being ignored and driven to despair; THAT reward would be a Place in the Kingdom that Jesus so often described . . .
It would be a place of Light, where there is no darkness;
– a place of Peace, where there is no fear and there are no wars;
– a place of Comfort and Nourishment, where there is no pain, no suffering, no hunger and no homelessness;
– and it would be a place of Community and Love, where there is no loneliness, no rejection, no abandonment and no hopelessness! . . .
Because in God’s Kingdom we will BE in the Constant Presence of our Gracious, and Merciful, and Loving God, who will Fill all of our needs and who will bring us endless Joy.
Today we give thanks to those first 12-disciples (Apostles) of Jesus, and especially that Son of Thunder, we call St. James! For without all of them, we would never have known this great Love of God that Jesus came to share with us.
And it IS just that Love that WE are called
to share with our world!
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