Prior to our Gospel reading for the feast of St. James, our Lord spoke of the prediction of His passion and death. Despite hearing Jesus’ remarks, the disciples still did not understand his message about the kingdom of God. It was not to be an earthly kingdom of power, might, and riches, but a spiritual Kingdom built on dying and rising. Wanting the best for her children like a good caring mother, James and John’s mother asked for them to sit on Jesus’ right and the other on His left when He became this powerful king. Those were prominent places at the banquet table. They would be the first to partake of the King’s chalice. So Jesus asks “Can you drink the chalice that I am going to drink”? They answered “we can”. Indeed, they would drink of the cup of suffering as James became the first of the apostles martyred around the year 44.
It’s been almost 2000 years since that event occurred. It’s been 175 years since the church of Milwaukee was founded. It’s been 162 years since St. James Parish was established. It’s been one year since I became an assisting priest here. For some of you it's been since you were baptized, received your first communion, were confirmed, or married here. For all of us it’s, “are you willing to drink of Christ’s chalice”?
Love, Peace, Joy