Congregation of the Blessed Sacrament

Province of Saint Ann

St Ann Crown red

Congregation of the Blessed Sacrament

Province of Saint Ann

St Ann Crown red
Eymard stained glass window

Daily Eucharistic Reflections

May 22, 2024

Siblings are present and noted throughout the Bible, but we have a unique pair in today’s readings: Jesus and James, the brother of Jesus! Three short verses from Mark’s Gospel give us Jesus’ reply to John the apostle. But first, we hear from the Letter of James. This is not James, son of Zebedee, or James, son of Alphaeus (both apostles) but James, Jesus’ brother (or a close relation such as a cousin, according to some translations). Historians of the early church, like Josephus or Eusebius, describe James as a leader of the first Christians in Jerusalem with the apostle Peter.

After Peter left, James persisted in teaching and spreading the Gospel message there despite serious impediments and great danger. He was targeted like his brother by the priests and temple elites, attacked, thrown from the temple parapet, and his broken body then clubbed or stoned.

A disciple or secretary may have written this letter telling how James taught and preached: whatever you plan for or hope for, be sure to say, “if the Lord wills it.” Otherwise, you are “boasting in your arrogance.” James has consistently been credited with this direction: close any listing of your aspirations or plans with “God willing!”

Mark’s Gospel describes John sharing a concern with Jesus: someone not part of our group, is driving out demons in the name of Jesus! The Lord’s answer comes to us millennia later as a loving call for Christian unity: “Whoever is not against us is for us.” At Mass, we sing, “and we pray that all unity may one day be restored,” and add, “If the Lord wills it!”

Let Us Pray:

Dear God, If it is your will, let all who share the name “Christian” come together as one great Body of Christ united in your Holy Name and seeking the same salvation promised through your Holy Body and Blood. Amen.

 

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