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Today's Gospel + short theological explanation

July 25th: Feast of Saint James, Apostle
Gospel text (Mt 20:20-28): 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, but to sit at my right and at my left, this is not mine to give but is for those for whom it has been prepared by my Father...”

St. James, the Greater, apostle

EDITORIAL TEAM evangeli.net (based on texts by Benedict XVI) (Città del Vaticano, Vatican)

Today, we remember St. James the Great, son of Zebedee and brother of St. John. St. James could participate, together with Peter and John, in Jesus’ agony in the garden of Gethsemane and, some days earlier, in the Transfiguration of our Lord. Beginning the 40 years of the 1st century, he was sent to martyrdom by King Herod Agrippa, grandson of Herod the Great.

From St. James we can learn in particular his promptness in accepting Jesus Christ’s call, even when he asks us to leave the “bark” of our human securities; his enthusiasm in following Him on the paths that He indicates to us beyond our illusory presumption; his readiness to give witness to Him with courage and, if necessary, with the supreme sacrifice of life. The trail from the Mount of Transfiguration down to the Mount of the Agony, symbolizes the pilgrimage of our Christian life, amid the persecutions of the world and the consolations of God.

—Jesus, thanks to the example of St. James, we know that if we follow you, even in the midst of the difficulties, we are going in the right direction.