Daily Prayer at Saint Laika’s

* James ( the Greater ) *


Loving God,

I think you for choosing me to be your disciple and for the gift of your Son, Jesus. Help me proclaim and bear witness to the Gospel by word and by deed today and every day. Open my heart to the outcast, the forgotten, the lonely, the sick and the poor. Grant me the courage to think, to choose and to live as a Christian, joyfully obedient to God. Amen.

( Pope Francis )


Christ was believed in throughout the world
and taken up in glory.

Christ Jesus was revealed in the flesh
and vindicated in the spirit.
He was seen by angels
and proclaimed among the nations.
Believed in throughout the world,
he was taken up in glory.
This will be made manifest at the proper time
by the blessed and only Sovereign,
who alone has immortality,
and dwells in unapproachable light.

To the King of kings and Lord of lords
be honour and eternal dominion. Amen.

Christ was believed in throughout the world
and taken up in glory.

MEDITATION by Tim Madsen

James: how shall we call him?

Today Saint Laika’s remembers Saint James. You would be easily forgiven for asking which one. The Saint Laika’s Calendar remembers James three times in the year. Today, the twenty-third of October and the first of May.

Today we are remembering Saint James, the son of Zebedee, sometimes called Saint James the Greater. On the first of May we remember Saint James, the son of Alphaeus, also known as Saint James the Lesser, and on the twenty-third of October we remember Saint James of Jerusalem, also known as Saint James, the brother of the Lord. Since we know so little about any of these disciples, it’s important to tread gently.

James , the son of Zebedee, was one of the twelve apostles, the brother of the apostle John. He appears to be part of an inner circle of apostles, since the scriptures often mention that “Peter, James, and John,” were privy to special moments in Jesus’ story, such as his transfiguration on the mountain, his raising the dead girl to life, and his agony in the garden.

James was the first of the apostles to be killed for his faith. The twelfth chapter of the book of "Acts" mentions that he was killed somewhere near the year 42 AD.

There were early church traditions associating James the Greater with Spain. The Church of Saint James of Compostela became known as the burial site of James and throughout the Middle Ages it was one of the chief places of pilgrimage in all the Western world.

Scripture. In the "Book of Acts," chapter twelve, verses one and we find this simple fact.

"About that time King Herod laid violent hands upon some who belonged to the church. He had James, the brother of John, killed with the sword."

(This was King Herod Agrippa I, grandson of King Herod, who met the Magi in Matthew, chapter two)


We pray...

... for peace in the world.

... for all pilgrims today, especially those traveling to Compostela.

... for those seeking a closer relationship with Jesus Christ.

... for all who suffer persecution for their faith in the present day.

... for the people of Puerto Rico who celebrate Constitution Day today.

... for terminally ill babies and their parents.

... for those with autism, in particular those being cared for away from home.

... for those affected by forrest fires in the French Riviera and Corsica. DETAILS

... for those who have died and for those who mourn their passing.

... for those who are unwell and for those caring for them.

... for those, both close to us and far off, who we hold in our personal prayers.

... for ourselves.


Our Father, who art in heaven,
hallowed be thy name;
thy kingdom come;
thy will be done;
on earth as it is in heaven.
Give us this day our daily bread.
And forgive us our trespasses,
as we forgive those who trespass against us.
And lead us not into temptation;
but deliver us from evil.
For thine is the kingdom,
the power and the glory,
for ever and ever. Amen.


From a homily on Matthew by John Chrysostom:

The sons of Zebedee press Christ, "Promise that one may sit at your right side and the other at your left."

What does he do? He wants to show them that it is not a spiritual gift for which they are asking, and that if they knew what their request involved, they would never dare make it.

So he says, "You do not know what you are asking."

That is, what a great and splendid thing it is and how much beyond the reach even of the heavenly powers.

Then he continues, "Can you drink the cup which I must drink and be baptised with the baptism which I must undergo?"

He is saying, “You talk of sharing honours and rewards with me, but I must talk of struggle and toil. Now is not the time for rewards or the time for my glory to be revealed. Earthly life is the time for bloodshed, war and danger.”

Consider how by his manner of questioning he exhorts and draws them.

He does not say, “Can you face being slaughtered? Can you shed your blood?”

How does he put his question?

"Can you drink the cup?"

Then he makes it attractive by adding, "Which I must drink," so that the prospect of sharing it with him may make them more eager.

He also calls his suffering a baptism, to show that it will effect a great cleansing of the entire world.

The disciples answer him, "We can!"

Fervour makes them answer promptly, though they really do not know what they are saying but still think they will receive what they ask for. How does Christ reply?

"You will indeed drink my cup and be baptised with my baptism."

He is really prophesying a great blessing for them, since he is telling them: “You will be found worthy of martyrdom; you will suffer what I suffer and end your life with a violent death, thus sharing all with me. But seats at my right and left are not mine to give; they belong to those for whom the Father has prepared them.”

Thus, after lifting their minds to higher goals and preparing them to meet and overcome all that will make them desolate, he sets them straight on their request.

Then the other ten became angry at the two brothers. See how imperfect they all are: the two who tried to get ahead of the other ten, and the ten who were jealous of the two! But, as I said before, show them to me at a later date in their lives, and you will see that all these impulses and feelings have disappeared. Read how John, the very man who here asks for the first place, will always yield to Peter when it comes to preaching and performing miracles in the "Acts of the Apostles." James, for his part, was not to live very much longer; for from the beginning he was inspired by great fervour and, setting aside all purely human goals, rose to such splendid heights that he straightway suffered martyrdom.


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.

May the Lord bless us, protect us from all evil and bring us to everlasting life. Amen.


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