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Feast of Saint James, Apostle

My dear encountered couples:

Who do you think is presently the most well-known and admired person in the world? Who will be the most remembered and praised when centuries have passed? Is it the president of the United States, the Queen of England, Bill Gates, a movie star, who could it be? If I were a betting man, I’d put my money on Mother Teresa. How did this little old Yugoslavian-born nun become so well-known and admired? By living for others. Mother Teresa has devoted her life to taking care of people who are in need of just about everything. She has become great for no other reason than for doing what Jesus tells all of us to do:

“Anyone among you who aspires to greatness must serve the rest, and whoever wants to rank first among you must serve the needs of all. Such is the case with the Son of Man who has come, not to be served by others but to serve, to give his own life as a ransom for the many.”

I doubt that Mother Teresa did things in order to become great in anybody’s eyes. She just wanted to help others.

This is the feast of St. James; it was his mother who prompted this advice Jesus just gave. We are told that the mother of James and John came up to Jesus and asked him, as a special favor, to give her sons a place of importance in his kingdom, like a seat right next to his throne, “one on the right and the other on the left.” Jesus wanted her to know that places of importance in heaven are reserved for people who live lives of service.

Maybe we will never equal Mother Teresa’s love in action, but let us not waste our precious time trying to be great in ways that benefit no one. We are to watch out for and care for one another.

Isn’t that what the Christian life is all about?

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