THEME: THE PRICE OF FOLLOWING JESUS
BY: Fr. Justin Nzekwe
HOMILY FOR MONDAY JULY 25 2022
We all would like to go to heaven at the end of our earthly life, but are we ready to pay the price? Every good thing has a price. The mother of James and John approached Jesus to ask him to place one of his sons to sit at his right and the other at his left in his kingdom. Jesus reminded her of the price for such position of honour, saying: “You do not know what you are asking. Can you drink the cup that I am about to drink?” The first reading from the second letter of Saint Paul to the Corinthians quickly reminds us of the cup Jesus was talking about. According to Saint Paul, “in everything we are troubled, but not crushed; we are shocked, but not desperate; persecuted, but not abandoned; struck, but not killed, carrying the death of Jesus always and everywhere in our body, so that the life of Jesus also manifests itself in our body.” Many Christians around the world today are going through a lot of persecutions because their faith. Unfortunately, Jesus did not promise us a life free from persecutions and sufferings. Even Saint James whom we are celebrating today shed his blood for the sake of the faith. He paid the price of following Christ with his own blood, and thereby became the first apostles of Jesus, to die as a martyr.
Also, to the other disciples who were indignant about the request of the mother of James and John, Jesus corrected them while reminding them that “whoever wants to become great among you will be your servant and whoever wants to be first among you will be your slave. Like the Son of man, who did not come to be served, but to serve and to give his life as a ransom for many”. As Christians, service is at the center of our spiritual life. Jesus is a model of service. He submitted Himself fully to the will of his Father even unto death. He even washed the feet of his disciples to teach them the need for the greatest among them to be the servant of others. Therefore, we all must learn to serve others, if we are truly Christians. We pray in this holy mass that through the intercession of Saint James, we might be able to imitate Jesus in being the servant of others. Let us also pray for the grace to endure any suffering or persecution that may come on our way as Christians, so that we may faithfully serve God all the days of our lives and inherit the kingdom of God in heaven.