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Today's Gospel + short theological explanation

July 25th: Saint James, the Greater, apostle, patron of Spain

Gospel text (Mt 20,20-28): The mother of James and John came to Jesus with her sons, and she knelt down to ask a favor. Jesus said to her, «What do you want?». And she answered, «Here you have my two sons. Grant that they may sit, one at your right and one at your left, when you are in your kingdom». Jesus said to the brothers, «You do not know what you are asking. Can you drink the cup that I am about to drink?». They answered, «We can». Jesus replied, «You will indeed drink my cup, but to sit at my right or at my left is not for me to grant. That will be for those for whom the Father has prepared it» (…).

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.