Today is the feast of St. James, the brother of John, sons of Zebedee. They were both fishermen. He was one of the three that seemed to be with Jesus at special moments like the transfiguration. He was also the first of the apostles to be martyred. He was killed by King Herod Agrippa, who wanted to please the opponents of Christianity, and was buried in Jerusalem. A tradition says that his relics were taken to Spain in the ninth century. His shrine in Compostela became the greatest pilgrimage centre in Western Europe during the middle ages.
As an apostle James was one of the witnesses to the Resurrection. He was also one who spent a lot of time listening to Jesus. The Apostles are still foundation stones that our church was built on. We share in that faith, and witness to the Resurrection by living that faith.
I was just reading a message from one of my cousins who has a new grandchild. He said to me that we live in troubled times, that he worries about the future for the young ones. He also said, “I hope and pray that things go well for them.”
We are called because of our Baptism and Confirmation to be people of Hope. Last Saturday I spoke to some young people who I confirmed at Tennant Creek that evening. I reminded them that Confirmation commissions them to be leaders in living the Christian life.
Because of Jesus there is always hope! Heaven and earth may pass away but My Word will never pass away!
When we think of Compostela we think of pilgrimage. Pilgrimage is to leave our place of comfort and to travel to a Holy destination. There is a physical travelling on a pilgrimage. Those travelling often experience discomfort and challenges. Then there is also a spiritual pilgrimage of life. Growth requires change, change can be challenging. It is necessary not to get stuck in a rut if we are to grow spiritually.
As we reflect prayerfully in our lives, we put ourselves at the disposal of God’s will and call.
James and the other Apostles left everything and followed Christ. At first, they did not fully understand what that call meant. The mother of James and John wanted them to sit at the right hand of Jesus in his “Kingdom”!!
They trusted Jesus, and that is what mattered. We are invited to trust not just when we fully understand, but at other times as well. He will never let us down!