Yesterday was the feast day for the Apostle James. James, and his brother John, abandoned their father's fishing boat and went with Jesus to fish for men. These sons of Zebedee are also referred to as the "Sons of Thunder". They had a tendency to speak before they thought and seemed to continually miss the point of Jesus' ministry. They wanted to sit next to Christ on the throne, they were present at the Transfiguration and were there throughout the Passion week events.
James is considered the first martyr of the early Church. He was executed by Herod Agrippa I about 15 years after Jesus died.
References to James are found in:
Matthew 10:2, 17:1-13
Mark 1:16-20, 3:17, 10:35-41, 14:32-42
Luke 5:1-10; 6:14, 8:51, 9:28, 54
Acts 1:13, 12:2
James is a role model for us because he reminds us that Christ's work and love is never about the "end" or what glory we can have for ourselves. The saving work of Christ in us spurs us to love our neighbors in the world. Like most of the disciples, James did not always understand what Christ was talking about or doing. Following the resurrection, however, he could not be stopped from spreading the gospel.
Through our baptisms we die to sin and are raised to new life in Christ. Daily we are to remember this action, done to us, for us and through us and ask the Holy Spirit to move us, like James, in action for the good of God's beloved creation.