"Death is at work in us, but life in you." —2 Corinthians 4:12
James was one of the Twelve and he boldly spread the Gospel (Mk 3:16-17). His witness as a foundational leader of the Church (see Eph 2:20; Rv 21:14) echoes throughout eternity. He prayed constantly after Jesus' Ascension (Acts 1:14). "During that period, King Herod started to harass some of the members of the Church. He beheaded James the brother of John" (Acts 12:1-2). St. James' sacrificial life led to a sacrificial death, yet warranted only one sentence in Scripture (Acts 12:2). James didn't get much credit in Scripture for being the first martyr, and he might not get much from us either. Have you thanked a martyr lately?
Many readers of One Bread, One Body have toiled in solitude, dutifully performing mundane tasks to build up God's Kingdom. You probably don't get much credit or thanks, either. Nevertheless, "whatever you do, work at it with your whole being. Do it for the Lord rather than for men, since you know full well you will receive an inheritance from Him as your reward. Be slaves of Christ the Lord" (Col 3:23-24).
Are you jealous of those with less responsibility, yet who receive more thanks from others? "It cannot be like that with you. Anyone among you who aspires to greatness must serve the rest, and whoever wants to rank first among you must serve the needs of all" (Mt 20:26-27). For when we truly love and serve Jesus, what matters to us is not how much thanks we receive, but how much thanks He receives.
Prayer: Jesus, here is my body, to be given up for You.
Promise: "Those that sow in tears shall reap rejoicing." __Ps 126:5
Praise: Although St. James fled from the crucifixion, he boldly returned to Jerusalem to risk being beheaded.
Reference: (This teaching was submitted by a member of our editorial team.)
Rescript: †Most Reverend Joseph R. Binzer, Auxiliary Bishop, Vicar General of the Archdiocese of Cincinnati, January 18, 2013
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