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Feast of Saint James, apostle
2 Cor 4:7-15
Psalm 126: 1bc-2ab, 2cd-3, 4-5, 6
Mathew 20: 20-28
ˈCommand that these two sons of mine, sit one at your right and the other at
your left, in Your Kingdom.ˉ When the ten heard this, they became indignant at
the two brothers. But Jesus summoned them and said, ˈ..whoever wishes to be
great 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 to serve and to give his life as a ransom
for many.ˉ
Even the apostles desired to be recognized and to be in a position of power and
authority. James and John had been with Jesus and had seen him perform mira-
cles and had seen how people reacted to Him. They being part of the entourage
must have been affected by the attention and the adoration that the people be-
stowed on Jesus and the disciples. They must have felt very important and very
privileged as chosen apostles of Jesus. By this obsession with their own per-
ceived self-worth, they sought to be acknowledged by Jesus and seeking to be
positioned at His right and left.
What James and John had not grasped as yet was that Jesus˅ message was to
be a servant king, a complete reversal of the world˅s understand of the role of a
king or leader. Jesus preached that love was important to be exercised with au-
thority, if not, then the exercise of authority will be invoked without regard to the
individual, and in essence the individual is nothing more than a tool. To hold any
position is to have power, usually with power over people. But position or power
without concern for the individual shows no respect for the person and can even
be demeaning. This was not the message Jesus was bringing. Being the Servant
King was Jesus˅ message and His example was to serve with humility and gener-
osity. The greatest image of this aspect of Jesus˅ teaching is His washing of the
feet of the disciples.