Fr. Rick’s Two-Minute Homily for Feast of St. James, Apostle
July 25, 2023, Matthew 20:20-28
The beach is a great attraction for visitors to Florida and people who live here. I always find praying easy while walking on the sand and listening to the calming waves. One can’t help but notice all the shells, especially the scallop shells. The grooves on the scallop shell radiate out to the edge of the shell.
The scallop shell is the emblem used for St. James, the Apostle, as it symbolizes our faith journey. James was one of the first disciples Jesus called at the Sea of Galilee. He was a fisherman with his brother John and faithful to Jesus throughout his faith journey.
Along with Peter and John, he witnessed the Transfiguration on Mount Tabor. He was with Jesus in the Garden of Gethsemane before his arrest. After the Ascension, St. James traveled through the Roman Empire to Spain, where he spread the Gospel. Jesus asked James if he could drink the same cup He drank, meaning the cup of suffering. He said he could and did.
St. James was the first apostle of Jesus to be martyred for the faith in 44 A.D. by the sword under Herod Agrippa. Take notice that the grooves of the scallop shell move outward, just as St. James brought the faith of Jesus to Spain.
Where did he get the strength to give his life for Jesus? We must remember that those grooves of the scallop lead back to the center. So, like St. James, may our life journey lead us back daily to our center, Jesus. Take a moment and make that your intention today.
Ignite the Fire
Fr. Rick Pilger, IC