Life is a Pilgrimage
Have you ever been on a pilgrimage? Usually, they consist of a long walk, a long journey, which brings you closer to understanding something in your life. It's a time for silence, peace and prayer, when you ca talk to God and ask Him to help you become a stronger person of faith. Today we celebrate the feast day of St. James, the patron Saint of pilgrims and Spain. St. James was a close follower of Jesus, some would say even more so than Peter, even though we don't hear about him as much through the Gospels. He was one who followed Jesus' instructions, sending him out to the world and leading others to experience a pilgrimage of faith, a lifelong journey to God.
Today's Gospel states:'Then the mother of the sons of Zeb'edee came up to him, with her sons, and kneeling before him she asked him for something. And he said to her, "What do you want?" She said to him, "Command that these two sons of mine may sit, one at your right hand and one at your left, in your kingdom." But Jesus answered, "You do not know what you are asking. Are you able to drink the cup that I am to drink?" They said to him, "We are able." He said to them, "You will drink my cup, but to sit at my right hand and at my left is not mine to grant, but it is for those for whom it has been prepared by my Father." And when the ten heard it, they were indignant at the two brothers. But Jesus called them to him and said, "You know that the rulers of the Gentiles lord it over them, and their great men exercise authority over them. It shall not be so among you; but whoever would be great among you must be your servant, and whoever would be first among you must be your slave; even as the Son of man came not to be served but to serve, and to give his life as a ransom for many"' (Matthew 20:20-28).
In today's Gospel, Jesus tells them that in order to sit beside him, they have to be willing to bare a cross, just like him. We do not become great people of faith by being leaders, but by being helpers, healers on the journey. We need to be able to bare our cross, and walk alongside Jesus. We need to recognize where God is leading us on our pilgrimage, on our life journey and focus on how we can best give ourselves to God, to the world in faith. Take time to reflect on your personal pilgrimage today.
Today's prayer comes from 'CatholicOnline' a prayer of St. James:
O glorious Apostle, St. James, who by reason of thy fervent and generous heart wast chosen by Jesus to be a witness of His glory on Mount Tabor, and of His agony in Gethsemane; thou, whose very name is a symbol of warfare and victory: obtain for us strength and consolation in the unending warfare of this life, that, having constantly and generously followed Jesus, we may be victors in the strife and deserve to receive the victor's crown in heaven. Amen.