HOMILY FOR THE FEAST OF ST. JAMES THE APOSTLE
HOMILY THEME: WHO IS THE GREATEST?
BY: Fr. Benny Tuazon
(Mt. 20:20-28) Feast of St. James the Apostle.
In today’s Gospel Jesus deals with the issue of greatness. The mother of the apostles James and John approached Jesus to secure the fate of her sons in the Kingdom. Jesus told her what they ought to do. He added that it was the Father’s will who will be given what. The point of Jesus was that position does not matter more than the service. For there were those who had authority and power but wanting in service. For Jesus, Christian service is not lording it over or wielding power but being a slave to everyone.
One very important characteristic of a slave is to serve without expecting anything in return. Of course, the welfare of the slave is the responsibility of the master. But the slave has only the will of the master in mind. To carry out that will is the slave’s mission. The good and effective servant is the one who is almost obsessed with what he is tasked to do and almost without regard to his own reward. In the olden days, slaves define their lives by their masters’ will.
This is how we ought to be with God. Jesus, the Son of God, made Himself an example of this service. Jesus submitted Himself fully to the will of the Father even unto death. He was focused in His mission to save mankind. Nothing and no one stopped Him from doing so.
Christian service is at the center of our spiritual life. Thus, in instituting the Eucharist, the celebration of our salvation which was the fruit of Jesus’s death and resurrection, Jesus washed the feet of His disciples. Only slaves wash the feet of their masters. It was considered then as the lowest and humblest act of service. Jesus, our Lord and Savior, did it to send the message that we must not only serve each other but we must serve like slaves.
The above service is greatness in the eyes of God.
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