Readings: July 26, 2015, Feast of St. James the Greater

All readings from The Message Bible (© Message Bible Eugene Peterson)

  • Sirach 1: 17-24

   My son, conduct your affairs with humility, and you will be loved more than a giver of gifts. Humble yourself the more the greater you are, and you will find favor with God.

For great is the power of God; by the humble He is glorified. What is too sublime for you, seek not, into things beyond your strength search not. What is committed to you, attend to; for what is hidden is not your concern. With what is too much for you, meddle not, when shown things beyond human understanding. Their own opinion has misled many, and false reasoning unbalanced their judgment. Where the pupil of the eye is missing, there is no light, and where there is no knowledge, there is no wisdom.

  • James 2:14-17

   Dear friends, do you think you’ll get anywhere in this if you learn all the right words but never do anything? Does merely talking about faith indicate that a person really has it? For instance, you come upon an old friend dressed in rags and half-starved and say, “Good morning, friend! Be clothed in Christ! Be filled with the Holy Spirit!” and walk off without providing so much as a coat or a cup of soup. Where does that get you? Isn’t it obvious that God-talk without God-acts is outrageous nonsense?

  • Matthew 20:20-29

     It was about that time that the mother of the Zebedee brothers came with her two sons and knelt before Jesus with a request. “What do you want?” Jesus asked. She said, “Give your word that these two sons of mine will be awarded the highest places of honor in your kingdom, one at your right hand, one at your left hand.”

     Jesus responded, “You have no idea what you’re asking.” And he said to James and John, “Are you capable of drinking the cup that I’m about to drink?”

     They said, “Sure, why not?”

     Jesus said, “Come to think of it, you are going to drink my cup. But as to awarding places of honor, that’s not my business. My Father is taking care of that.”

     When the ten others heard about this, they lost their tempers, thoroughly disgusted with the two brothers.

     So Jesus got them together to settle things down. He said, “You’ve observed how godless rulers throw their weight around, how quickly a little power goes to their heads. It’s not going to be that way with you. Whoever wants to be great must become a servant. Whoever wants to be first among you must be your slave. That is what the Son of Man has d   one: He came to serve, not be served; and then to give away his life in exchange for the many who are held hostage.”

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