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Wednesday, July 25, 2001

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St. James

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

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the head of the class

<b>"We believe and so we speak, knowing that He Who raised up the Lord Jesus will raise us up along with Jesus." </b> <b>—2 Corinthians 4:13-14</b>

James must have been one powerful apostle! When "King Herod started to harass" the Church, his first move was to cut off James' head (Acts 12:1, 2). "This pleased certain of the Jews" (Acts 12:3). Only after James was killed did Herod turn his attention to arresting Peter (Acts 12:3). James, who was the first apostle to die for love of Jesus, was obviously one giant headache for Herod and the Jews. James had the courage and the faith to speak out in the name of Jesus, knowing that he would share in the resurrection of Jesus (2 Cor 4:13-14).

Earlier, James was a headache for the other apostles (Mt 20:24). He sought to be elevated above them. Jesus patiently explained to James and the others that the way to aspire to greatness is to humbly descend into service (Mt 20:26-27). James eventually took Jesus' admonition to heart. After Pentecost, James did not try to preserve his own life. He was constantly teaching the people about the good news of Jesus the Messiah (Acts 5:42), working signs and wonders among the people (Acts 5:12). With great faith, James gave his own life for love of God and His people (Mt 20:28). Like James, may our lives be so powerful in Jesus that we are a headache to those who oppose Jesus and His kingdom.

Prayer:  Father, may I be fearless in the Holy Spirit as St. James was.

Promise:  "This treasure we possess in earthen vessels, to make it clear that its surpassing power comes from God and not from us." —2 Cor 4:7

Praise:  St. James, "Son of Thunder," was the first apostle to give his life in martyrdom for Jesus.

Reference:  (This teaching was submitted by one of our editors.)

Nihil Obstat:  Reverend Robert L. Hagedorn, January 4, 2001

Imprimatur:  †Most Reverend Carl K. Moeddel, Vicar General and Auxiliary Bishop of the Archdiocese of Cincinnati, January 24, 2001