Feast of Saint James, Apostle  

Posted by siouxbhoney

On the day of 25 July
The feast of Saint James, Apostle, the son of Zebedee and brother of blessed John the Evangelist, who, with Peter and John, was a witness to the transfiguration and agony of his Lord. And beheaded by Herod Agrippa as the feast of the Pasch drew near, he was also the first of the apostles to receive the crown of martyrdom.

As always, I cut and paste that from the USCCB website.

Reading 1: 2 Corinthians 4:7-15

Well, this is Paul's letter. Let me tell you, the footnotes were no help at all on this one, so I just have to muddle through. So, is he saying, "Life is tough, but God gets us through, and makes everything okay."? It seems too simple, and I'm sure there is more, but that's all I got.

Gospel: Matthew 20:20-28

So, this is interesting. James' mom goes to Jesus and asks for a place of honor in heaven for her two sons, James and John. Jesus says "Whoa, lady! You're talking crazy! Are they willing to go through what I am gonna do?"After James and John assure him that they are ready for anything, Jesus goes on to tell them that where they sit in heaven is not his call, and that they shouldn't be asking anyway. It looks like he kinda calls them out in front of the rest of the apostles and berates them for having spiritual ambition. Jesus reminds us that we are here to serve, nothing more. Too simple again?

News for today:

Thursday of the Sixteenth Week in Ordinary Time

On the day of 24 July
Saint Charbel (Joseph) Makhlouf, priest of the Lebanese Maronite Order, who, zealous for strict solitude and greater perfection, withdrew from the monastery of Annaya in Lebanon to a hermitage in which he served God with the greatest severity of life, fasting and praying night and day. On the twenty-fourth day of December he found rest in the Lord.

Yes, I did cut and paste that from the USCCB website.

Reading 1: Jeremiah 2:1-3, 7-8, 12-13

Well, Jeremiah is pretty new to me. Yes, I know, everything is. But reading all of these old testament passages makes me think that if I don't do what God wants, it will really hurt his feelings. I know that it is not that simple, and God doesn't have emotions that we can fathom, but this is the way that his prophet is presenting it to us. Maybe this is what God is trying to convey. There is an old story about my patron saint, Zita. Apparently when she was a little kid, her mother taught her how to be good by explaining that certain of her actions would "be pleasing to God", while other things she did "would be displeasing to God". Maybe if I broke it down for myself like that daily, this whole Christianity thing would be simpler. Not easier, but much more simple.

Gospel: Matthew 13:10-17

After reading the footnotes for this whole passage, I think this is about "being prepared to explore" the true meaning of parables and biblical passages. Jesus is telling us that all of our instructions and everything that we need to understand is all laid out before us, but we have to "see with their eyes and hear with their ears and understand with their hearts and be converted". That is Jesus quoting Isaiah, which we read pretty recently. I wonder why that wasn't our first reading today? Anyway, I think that today we are being told to have the courage to explore the meaning of all of these passages so that we can make God happy. Well, now I think I have my title.

I've got a few news items today, because I couldn't choose between them:

This is our saint of the day today. I get these from the USCCB website and I just cut and paste this little blurb right from them:

Of Saint Bridget of Sweden, religious, who, having been given in marriage to Ulf, a lawgiver, with the greatest devotion educated the eight children whom she bore and by word and example roused her husband to godliness. Upon his death, she travelled through many sacred places and, having bequeathed writings mystically concerned with head and members of the Church being reformed and having completed the foundations of the Order of the Most Holy Savior, departed for heaven from Rome.

Well, I know that I haven't been too regular, but I will get better now.

Reading 1: Jeremiah 1:1, 4-10

I am just getting back into the swing of things, so I'm gonna let the NAB footnotes speak for me:

Jeremiah was destined to the office of prophet before his birth; cf Isaiah 49:1, 5; Luke 1:15; Gal 1:15, 16. I knew you: I loved you and chose you. I dedicated you: I set you apart to be a prophet. Some Fathers and later theologians understand this to mean that Jeremiah was freed from original sin before his birth. The context does not justify this conclusion. The nations: the pagan neighbors of Judah, besides the great world powers-Assyria, Babylonia, Egypt-intimately associated with Judah's destiny.

On to the Gospel: Matthew 13:1-9

Well this felt familiar to me, and sure enough, I went back and looked, and we did this reading on Sunday the 13th of this month. Now, I'm sure that this probably means that I should look at this reading a little closer, but instead I will cut and paste what I wrote back then, because I just stole from NAB footnotes anyway. They still say it better than any insight I may have:

Since in Palestine sowing often preceded ploughing, much of the seed is scattered on ground that is unsuitable. Yet while much is wasted, the seed that falls on good ground bears fruit in extraordinarily large measure. The point of the parable is that, in spite of some failure because of opposition and indifference, the message of Jesus about the coming of the kingdom will have enormous success.


See Mark 4:14-20; Luke 8:11-15. In this explanation of the parable the emphasis is on the various types of soil on which the seed falls, i.e., on the dispositions with which the preaching of Jesus is received. The second and third types particularly are explained in such a way as to support the view held by many scholars that the explanation derives not from Jesus but from early Christian reflection upon apostasy from the faith that was the consequence of persecution and worldliness respectively. Others, however, hold that the explanation may come basically from Jesus even though it was developed in the light of later Christian experience. The four types of persons envisaged are (1) those who never accept the word of the kingdom (Matthew 13:19); (2) those who believe for a while but fall away because of persecution (Matthew 13:20-21); (3) those who believe, but in whom the word is choked by worldly anxiety and the seduction of riches (Matthew 13:22); (4) those who respond to the word and produce fruit abundantly (Matthew 13:23).

Well, I just skated through my come-back, didn't I? Anyway, here is some news. I took the running headlines off of the blog because I didn't like the stories that the news gadget was coming up with. They were salacious and made fun of the church and christianity, not just stories that I didn't agree with or wasn't interested in. If I can figure out how to filter them better, I'll put them back, because I really like the idea. Here's a story to tide me over until then:

Pope's tree flourishes while others wither