GRANT, O merciful God, that as your holy Apostle Saint James, leaving his father and all that he had, without delay was obedient unto the calling of your Son Jesus Christ, and followed him; so we, forsaking all worldly and carnal affections, may be evermore ready to follow thy holy commandments; through Jesus Christ our Lord.
2 Kings 1:9-15; Psalm 15; Acts 11:27-12:3a; Matthew 20:20-28
Today’s theme is the link between holiness and obedience to God’s commandments. Psalm 15 warns that only the pure of heart may ascend God’s holy hill, and the Old Testament illustrates this: only the humble soldiers could approach Elijah and speak with him. In the Gospel, Jesus warns that to “drink his cup” (to share in his ministry and authority) requires humble service. Saint James was one of the disciples who said he could that, and Jesus agreed. Sure enough, as we read in Acts, James was the first of all the Apostles to die for the faith – even killed by the same King Herod who was involved in Jesus’ trials. Unflinchingly, the Collect is a plea that we have the same readiness to follow Christ.