Today is the feast day of Saint John the Greater, believed to be the first Apostle to face martyrdom. Today’s readings in the Holy Mass begin with a New Testament reading from 2Corinthians. Saint Paul talks about being powerful witnesses to Jesus by evangelizing even the face of persecution.
Since, then, we have the same spirit of faith,
according to what is written, I believed, therefore I spoke,
we too believe and therefore speak,
knowing that the one who raised the Lord Jesus
will raise us also with Jesus
and place us with you in his presence.
The Gospel shows Saint James and his brother Saint John in need of conversion of heart. Prompted by their mother (we assume), they’re seeking positions of honor in the Kingdom of God. But Jesus puts them and the other Apostles in their places. He tells them that to be first in the Kingdom of God means to put yourself last. The leaders of the Kingdom must be the servants of all.
Saint James took Jesus’ words to heart. Empowered by the Holy Spirit, he spread the Gospel through Jerusalem and all the way to Spain. He loved Jesus so much that he offered his life, dying by the sword.
Also published on Medium.