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Saturday, July 25, 1998

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St. James

2 Corinthians 4:7-15
Psalm 126
Matthew 20:20-28

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"lift high the cross!"

"Death is at work in us, but life in you." —2 Corinthians 4:12

Peter, James, and John were the three major apostles chosen by Jesus. Only they were chosen by Jesus to be present when He raised the daughter of Jairus from the dead (Mk 5:37), when He was transfigured (Mt 17:2), and when He suffered His agony in the garden of Gethsemani (Mt 26:37). Consequently, when James was beheaded (Acts 12:2) and Peter on death row, it seemed that  the Church was being quickly destroyed by the systematic extermination of its leaders.

However, the very opposite was true, for when we continually "carry about in our bodies the dying of Jesus" (2 Cor 4:10) and are "being delivered to death for Jesus' sake," then the life of Jesus is revealed (2 Cor 4:11). In our weakness, God's power reaches perfection (2 Cor 12:9). "It is true He was crucified out of weakness, but He lives by the power of God. We too are weak in Him, but we live with Him by God's power in us" (2 Cor 13:4).

Jesus' death on the cross and our share in His death are our glory, not our shame (see Gal 6:14; Rm 1:16). "The message of the cross is complete absurdity to those who are headed for ruin, but to us who are experiencing salvation it is the power of God" (1 Cor 1:18). "Indeed, everything is ordered to (our) benefit, so that the grace bestowed in abundance may bring greater glory to God" (2 Cor 4:15). "Lift high the cross!"

Prayer:  "We adore You, O Christ, and we praise You, because by Your holy cross, You have redeemed the world" (St. Francis of Assisi).

Promise:  "Such is the case with the Son of Man Who has come, not to be served by others, but to serve, to give His own life as a ransom for the many." —Mt 20:28

Praise:  James hid behind his mother when he wanted to sit next to a King (Mt 20:21). After he received the Holy Spirit, he became such a threat to the king, Herod, that he was beheaded for his bold faith in Jesus (Acts 12:1-2).

Nihil Obstat:  Reverend Robert L. Hagedorn, November 29, 1997

Imprimatur:  †Most Reverend Carl K. Moeddel, Vicar General and Auxiliary Bishop of the Archdiocese of Cincinnati, December 2, 1997