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Will you be like St. James?

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Many say, "I know about the Apostles." You may know about the Apostles, but do you know the Apostles?


By Deacon Keith Fournier
2/26/2023 (1 year ago)

Published in Living Faith

Keywords: Saint James, Apostles Journey, 12 Apostles, Catholic

The study of the apostles shows they are more than just men who followed Jesus. They are evangelists, authors, healers, martyrs, and living saints of the Church. They can hear our prayers and intercede for the faithful.

They are much more than most people realize.

The Lord be with you! I'm Deacon Keith Fournier, Dean of Catholic Online School, inviting YOU to accompany me on our 12 Apostles Journey!

St. James was the son of Zebedee and the brother of St. John. He was one of only three of the disciples of Jesus to experience both the Transfiguration of Jesus Christ and the Agony in the Garden. He certainly came to understand the connection between both events as he lived his own life and vocation as a servant of the Lord. His impetuous nature earned him the name, along with his brother John, "Son of Thunder" (Matt. 4:18-21, Mark 3:17).

Yet, as the Gospel of St Matthew reminds us, James drank the chalice of the Lord whom he served with dedication, courage and zeal. (Matt. 20: 20-28) Here is an excerpt:

"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 chalice that I am going to drink?" They said to him, "We can." He replied, "My chalice you will indeed drink. Whoever wishes to be great among you shall be your servant; whoever wishes to be first among you shall be your servant. 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."

James, like the Lord whom he served, learned to serve and to give his life for others. According to tradition he preached the Gospel in Spain as well as in Judaea and Samaria. On his return to Palestine in the year 44 AD he became the first Apostle to suffer martyrdom.The word martyr means "witness".

Each of us is called to a life of witness wherein we are configured to the character of Jesus Christ. Each of us is, in our own way, invited to drink from the chalice of the Lord. Saint Jose Maria Escriva once wrote "The great Christian revolution has been to convert pain into fruitful suffering and to turn a bad thing into something good. We have deprived the devil of this weapon; and with it we can conquer eternity."

All of us inevitably experience in our own lives, times of difficulty, deep sorrow, loss, distress, fear, failure, and anguish. It is often those times and circumstances that can become the very path to holiness if we learn to love as Jesus loves. Our Christian vocation is to live as He lives, to love as He loves and to thereby become "holy" as He is holy. We are invited to embrace the way of surrendered love. St James gives us an example.

Jesus invited James, the Son of Thunder, to drink from His Chalice. Let us decide today to make the choices in our own daily lives to drink from the chalice, saying as we do "not my will but yours be done" When we live and love this way, the very people and circumstances that once seemed to be so difficult can become the path to freedom. We can learn to walk the way of forgiving love with Jesus and His redemptive mission continues through time in our own daily lives.

Now, like James, you too are called to an Apostolate. Your mission is to help us teach others the richness, beauty, and tradition of our Catholic faith. You see, there are tens of thousands of families who need to know Jesus. They need to know about their faith.

We are asking you to honor the 12 Apostles by joining in their ongoing apostolic mission of the whole Church.

How? By praying, learning from St James, saying yes to the call of Jesus in your own life, engaging in the mission to evangelize and teach the faith, and by giving $12 a month.

The Mission of Catholic Online School is to provide a free, world-class Catholic education for anyone, anywhere. We are nearing 1,000,000 (Yes, One Million) Student Enrollments from 193 Countries worldwide.

Please, contribute $12 a month to support this Apostolate.

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