Today is the Feast of St. James, the brother of St. John, and the first of the Apostles to die, whereas his brother was the last.
We see them together in today’s Gospel, where their mother is asking a favor for them. She wants Jesus to name them the top men in his kingdom. We don’t know much else about St. James. All we know is that he was ambitious enough to ask his mother to help him get ahead.
Since the feast of James is also the feast day of every man and boy named James of Jimmy, I have sat here reviewing their stories, asking which of them were over ambitious.
Father James Corry who served us at St. Paul’s for twenty-three years wasn’t ambitious at all. When men were giving speeches at the end of banquets Jim was always clearing the tables and doing the dishes.
A priest named Jimmy was the rector of the major seminary I attended for six years. He liked studying and preparing classes, and when he was told he was to be the boss he said, “Oh damn!”
I had been in school with a priest named Jimmy who played all the angles for getting the top jobs. After getting to the top he failed, because he didn’t know how to show respect for the men working with him.
We should all be ambitious. We should be ambitious for attaining real friendship with God and with the people around us.