Archive for the ‘St. James Bar-Zebedee’ Tag

Feast of St. John the Evangelist, Apostle (December 27)   2 comments

Above:  Saint John the Evangelist in Meditation, by Simone Cantarini

Image in the Public Domain

The Beloved Apostle

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The assigned readings, taken together, speak of the fidelity of God and the imperative of human fidelity to God, whose face Moses did not get to see.  Yet this deity is the same one who became incarnate as Jesus of Nazareth (however those Trinitarian dynamics actually worked; I have learned to avoid trying to explain the Holy Trinity, for attempting to make sense of the Trinity leads to a host of heresies.)

St. John was a brother of St. James (one of the two St. Jameses among the Apostles) and a first cousin of Jesus; Zebedee was the father of Sts. James and John, as well as an uncle (by marriage) of Jesus.  Our Lord and Savior called his first cousins Boanerges, usually translated

sons of thunder.

A now-deceased seminary professor I heard speak decades ago said, however, that the word actually meant

hell raisers.

Jesus and St. John were apparently emotionally close, not that St. John always understood his cousin.  After the resurrection and ascension of Jesus St. John helped to spread the nascent Gospel, a mission that filled the rest of his long life, which ended in exile.  Of the twelve Apostles Jesus called, St. John was, excluding Judas Iscariot, the only one not to die as a martyr.

According to tradition St. John wrote the Gospel of John, the three letters of John, and Revelation, a book with no “s” at the end of its title.  Certainly he did not write all of the above, although how much he wrote has long been a matter of scholarly debate.

Nevertheless, the life of St. John the Evangelist is a good one to consider.  If an overly ambitious hell raiser can learn the value of serving God endure suffering for the sake of righteousness, and survive opportunities for martyrdom only to die in exile, each of us can, by grace, take up his or her cross and follow Jesus, wherever he leads.

KENNETH RANDOLPH TAYLOR

MARCH 17, 2018 COMMON ERA

THE FEAST OF SAINT PATRICK, APOSTLE OF IRELAND

THE FEAST OF EBENEZER ELLIOTT, “THE CORN LAW RHYMER”

THE FEAST OF ELIZA SIBBALD ALDERSON, POET AND HYMN WRITER; AND JOHN BACCHUS DYKES, ANGLICAN PRIEST AND HYMN WRITER

THE FEAST OF HENRY SCOTT HOLLAND, ANGLICAN HYMN WRITER AND PRIEST

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Shed upon your Church, O Lord, the brightness of your light, that we,

being illumined by the teaching of your apostle and evangelist John,

may so walk in the light of your truth, that at length we may attain to the fullness of eternal life;

through Jesus Christ our Lord, who lives and reigns with

you and the Holy Spirit, one God, for ever and ever.  Amen.

Exodus 33:18-23

Psalm 92 or 92:1-4, 11-14

1 John 1:1-9

John 21:19b-24

Holy Women, Holy Men:  Celebrating the Saints (2010), page 141

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Adapted from this post:

https://adventchristmasepiphany.wordpress.com/2018/03/17/third-day-of-christmas-feast-of-st-john-the-evangelist-apostle-december-27/

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Posted March 17, 2018 by neatnik2009 in December 27, Saints of the Bible

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Feast of St. James Bar-Zebedee, Apostle and Martyr (July 25)   11 comments

Above: St. James the Elder, by Rembradt

James, Son of Zebedee:  A Cousin of Jesus

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The Assigned Readings for This Feast:

Jeremiah 45:1-5

Psalm 7:1-10

Acts 11:27-12:3

Matthew 20:20-28

The Collect:

O gracious God, we remember before you today your servant and apostle James, first among the Twelve to suffer martyrdom for the Name of Jesus Christ; and we pray that you will pour out upon the leaders of your Church that spirit of self-denying service by which alone they may have true authority among your people; through Jesus Christ our Lord, who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, now and for ever. Amen.

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This is the same saint known also James the Greater and James the Elder, and is separate from James, Son of Alpheus, a.k.a. James the Less or James the Lesser, and is distinct also from St. James of Jerusalem, martyred Bishop of Jerusalem and a son of Joseph and Mary.

St. James, Son of Zebedee, was the brother of St. John the Evangelist/Apostle/Divine, nephew of St. Mary of Nazareth, and cousin of Jesus and St. John the Baptist.  St. James and his brother, St. John, were part of the family fishing business, which did well enough for their father, Zebedee, to hire servants.  Putting all these facts together, I imagine family gatherings in which Mary and her sister, Mary Salome, and their husbands and children met each other over the years.  This might explain the deep emotional bond between Jesus and St. John the Evangelist.

St. James and St. John were apparently hot-headed, for Jesus called them “Sons of Thunder,” although a I recall hearing a now-deceased seminary professor say that “hellraisers” was a more accurate translation.  Their mother (Jesus’ aunt, Mary Salome) or they (depending on the canonical account one reads) asked Jesus that they would sit on either side of Jesus in glory.  Our Savior informed them (or her) that the route to these seats passed through suffering.

Both brothers suffered greatly.  St. John survived his sufferings, living into old age.  His brother, however, died circa 44 C.E., beheaded at the command of Herod Agrippa I.  (See Acts 12:1).  This was the first martyrdom of one of the Twelve.

St. James learned the meaning of taking up his cross and following Jesus.

KENNETH RANDOLPH TAYLOR

JUNE 13, 2010

THE THIRD SUNDAY AFTER PENTECOST, YEAR C

Posted June 13, 2010 by neatnik2009 in July 25, Saints of the Bible

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