We come to you in eager pilgrimage.
We come as part of a great throng of pilgrims
who through the centuries have come to this place,
where you are pilgrim and host, apostle and patron.
We come to you today
because we are on a common journey.
Place yourself, patron of pilgrims,
at the head of our pilgrimage.
Teach us, apostle and friend of the Lord,
the WAY which leads to him.
Open us, preacher of the Gospel,
to the TRUTH you learned from your Master’s lips.
Give us, witness of the faith,
the strength always to love the LIFE Christ gives.
We pray in Jesus’ name. Amen.
Their Mothers’ Request (Matthew 20: 20-23)
The mother of the sons of Zebedee approached Jesus with her sons and did him homage, wishing to ask him for something. He said to her, “What do you wish?” She answered him, “Command that these two sons of mine sit, one at your right and the other at your left, in your kingdom.” Jesus said in reply, “You do not know what you are asking. Can you drink the cup that I am going to drink?” They said to him, “We can.” He replied, “My cup you will indeed drink, but to sit at my right and at my left, this is not mine to give but is for those for whom it has been prepared by my Father.”
In the Gospel according to Mark, James and John come to Jesus and ask for seats at his right and left—seats of honor and power—in the Kingdom. In Matthew’s Gospel, it is their mother who makes the request. It is ironic, to say the least, that this request comes immediately after Jesus tells his disciples, for the third time, what awaits him: crucifixion and death; and after a whole series of parables with the theme “the last will be first, and the first will be last” (Matthew 20:16)! Jesus responds honestly but gently to the ambition of the two brothers. They will indeed drink his cup – James was the first of the Apostles to suffer martyrdom – but only the Father knows who will sit at his right and left in the Kingdom of heaven. The only thing Jesus promises the brothers is suffering.
More on St. James the Greater click here.