Sunday, September 28th, 2014
A Prayer For Today
26th Sunday in Ordinary Time
Father, you show your almighty power above all by pardoning and showing us your mercy. Continue to fill us with your gifts of love. Help us to hasten to attain your promise toward eternal life and share in the joys of your kingdom. Grant this through Christ our Lord.
Author of Today’s Gospel Reading
St James the Apostle
James, son of Zebedee (Greek Ἰάκωβος, from Hebrew/Aramaic Yaʿqob; died 44 AD) was one of the Twelve Apostles of Jesus, and traditionally considered the first apostle to be martyred. He was a son of Zebedee and Salome, and brother of John the Apostle. He is also called James the Greater or James the Great to distinguish him from James, son of Alphaeus. James the Greater is the patron saint of Spain.
The son of Zebedee and Salome, James is styled “the Greater” to distinguish him from the Apostle James “the Less”, who was probably shorter of stature. We know nothing of St. James’s early life. He was the brother of John, the beloved disciple, and probably the elder of the two.
His parents seem to have been people of means. Zebedee was a fisherman of the Sea of Galilee, who probably lived in or near Bethsaida, perhaps in Capharnaum; and had some boatmen or hired men. Salome was one of the pious women who afterwards followed Christ and “ministered unto him of their substance”. And his brother John was personally known to the high-priest, and must have had wherewithal to provide for the Mother of Jesus.
It is probable that his brother had not received the technical training of the rabbinical schools; in this sense they were unlearned and without any official position among the Jews. But, according to the social rank of their parents, they must have been men of ordinary education, in the common walks of Jewish life. They had frequent opportunity of coming in contact with Greek life and language, which were already widely spread along the shores of the Galilean Sea.
James is described as one of the first disciples to join Jesus. The Synoptic Gospels state that James and John were with their father by the seashore when Jesus called them to follow him. James was one of only three apostles whom Jesus selected to bear witness to his Transfiguration James and his brother wanted to call down fire on a Samaritan town, but were rebuked by Jesus. The Acts of the Apostles records that “Herod the king” (traditionally identified with Herod Agrippa) had James executed by sword. He is the only apostle whose martyrdom is recorded in the New Testament. He is, thus, traditionally believed to be the first of the twelve apostles martyred for his faith.
Our Old Testament Reading
Numbers 11:4-6, 10-16, 24-29 NIV
Quail From The Lord
The rabble with them began to crave other food, and again the Israelites started wailing and said, “If only we had meat to eat! We remember the fish we ate in Egypt at no cost–also the cucumbers, melons, leeks, onions and garlic. But now we have lost our appetite; we never see anything but this manna!”
Moses heard the people of every family wailing, each at the entrance to his tent. The LORD became exceedingly angry, and Moses was troubled. He asked the LORD, “Why have you brought this trouble on your servant? What have I done to displease you that you put the burden of all these people on me? Did I conceive all these people? Did I give them birth? Why do you tell me to carry them in my arms, as a nurse carries an infant, to the land you promised on oath to their forefathers? Where can I get meat for all these people? They keep wailing to me, ‘Give us meat to eat!’ I cannot carry all these people by myself; the burden is too heavy for me. If this is how you are going to treat me, put me to death right now–if I have found favor in your eyes–and do not let me face my own ruin.” The LORD said to Moses: “Bring me seventy of Israel’s elders who are known to you as leaders and officials among the people. Have them come to the Tent of Meeting, that they may stand there with you.
So Moses went out and told the people what the LORD had said. He brought together seventy of their elders and had them stand around the Tent. Then the LORD came down in the cloud and spoke with him, and he took of the Spirit that was on him and put the Spirit on the seventy elders. When the Spirit rested on them, they prophesied, but they did not do so again. However, two men, whose names were Eldad and Medad, had remained in the camp. They were listed among the elders, but did not go out to the Tent. Yet the Spirit also rested on them, and they prophesied in the camp. A young man ran and told Moses, “Eldad and Medad are prophesying in the camp.” Joshua son of Nun, who had been Moses’ aid since youth, spoke up and said, “Moses, my lord, stop them!” But Moses replied, “Are you jealous for my sake? I wish that all the LORD’s people were prophets and that the LORD would put his Spirit on them!”
Our New Testament Reading
James 5:13-20 NIV
The Prayer of Faith
Is any one of you in trouble? He should pray. Is anyone happy? Let him sing songs of praise. Is any one of you sick? He should call the elders of the church to pray over him and anoint him with oil in the name of the Lord. And the prayer offered in faith will make the sick person well; the Lord will raise him up. If he has sinned, he will be forgiven. Therefore confess your sins to each other and pray for each other so that you may be healed. The prayer of a righteous man is powerful and effective. Elijah was a man just like us. He prayed earnestly that it would not rain, and it did not rain on the land for three and a half years. Again he prayed, and the heavens gave rain, and the earth produced its crops. My brothers, if one of you should wander from the truth and someone should bring him back, remember this: Whoever turns a sinner from the error of his way will save him from death and cover over a multitude of sins.
Hymn For Today
My Faith Looks Up To Thee
Music video by Bill & Gloria Gaither
My faith looks up to thee, thou Lamb of Calvary, Savior divine! Now hear me while I pray, take all my guilt away, O let me from this day be wholly thine!
May thy rich grace impart strength to my fainting heart, my zeal inspire! As thou hast died for me, O may my love to thee pure, warm, and changeless be, a living fire!
While life’s dark maze I tread, and griefs around me spread, be thou my guide; bid darkness turn to day, wipe sorrow’s tears away, nor let me ever stray from thee aside.
When ends life’s transient dream, when death’s cold, sullen stream shall o’er me roll; blest Savior, then in love, fear and distrust remove; O bear me safe above, a ransomed soul!
Thanks Be To God!
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