Tuesday, May 3, 2011

Happy Nameday, James!

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Today is the Feast of St. James the Just, cousin of Christ, first Bishop of Jerusalem, and author of the Book of James and of the Apostolic Decree spoken of in Acts 15.
 
St. James suffered death at the hands of the Pharisees for publicly proclaiming Jesus to be the Christ. Even as he was being stoned to death, the great saint prayed for those who murdered him. The story of his martyrdom is so similar to that of St. Stephen that some say Stephen may have merely been a pseudonym for St. James. (The name means “crown,” and so could have been used to connote the first Christian crowned as a martyr.)

St. James' feast is celebrated on May 3rd (today) along with the feast of St. Phillip, and it is our James’ Nameday!

Last year, we had a delicious Israeli meal, since St. James was as an Israel Jew and was, in fact, the bishop of Jerusalem. This year we’ll enjoy the same wonderful falafel, a veggie platter with hummus and olives, and some whole wheat pita bread. For dessert, I’ll stuff dates with a little almond paste (leftover from Shrove Tuesday) mixed with orange flower water. This a simple. economical, delicious meal that has been enthusiastically adopted in our home as a yearly tradition. I can’t imagine improving upon it!

O Glorious Saint James, you were our Lord's cousin and at the same time his friend and disciple. You wrote that every good and perfect gift comes to us from the Father of lights, and that faith without works is useless. You preached the divinity of Jesus until your death as a martyr. Obtain for us from the Father of lights the great gift of a living faith in Jesus' divinity which will inspire us to unstinting labor in the service of God and our fellow men and enable us to reach our heavenly destiny. Amen.

1 comment:

  1. Ooh, dates with almond paste sounds like a delicious combination. May have to try that!

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