25 July 2017
Feast of St. James the Apostle
“Everything is indeed for you,” St. Paul writes. Everything that he and the Apostles endured was “for you,” for us. St. James the Apostle learned from the Lord, he experience the Transfiguration firsthand, he was brought deeper into the Garden of Gethsemane by the Lord, he traveled to other countries in his missionary work to spread the Gospel, and he was eventually beheaded. He’s also said to have appeared in various battles, riding atop a horse to help defeat the enemies of Christ.
“Everything is indeed for you,” St. James could have said, just as much as St. Paul said it. James took the Lord’s example to heart when he said, “The Son of Man came to serve, not to be served.” The Gospel, the “good news” today, it seems, is that there are still people around who are striving (and even dying) to show us the way of Christ.
Whether those are teachers of the faith like our popes or bishops, or the examples of the modern-day Christian martyrs in the Middle East, or the random person who shows an act of Christian kindness and mercy, the good news is that there are still people around today who can say, “Everything is indeed for you.”
And, of course, we have the Eucharist, that perpetual reminder from God that everything—everything—is indeed given for us. In the face of that, what else can we say but, “Thank you.” What else can we do but offer a sacrifice of praise.