(23 October 2014)
GRANT, O God, that, following the example of your servant James the Just, brother of our Lord, your Church may give itself continually to prayer and to the reconciliation of all who are at variance and enmity; through Jesus Christ our Lord, who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, now and forever.
Acts 15:12-22a; Psalm 1; 1 Corinthians 15:1-11; Matthew 13:54-58
There are several men named James in the New Testament, and the Church has not always been completely unified in sorting out exactly who is who. Saint James of Jerusalem is the one understood to be a “brother of Jesus” who initially doubts Jesus’ ministry. But after a post-resurrection visit from Jesus, James became a believer and a leader of the Church in Jerusalem. Just as he was reconciled with Jesus, James’ greatest legacy recorded in the Scriptures is his act of reconciliation between Jewish and Gentile Christians, as related in the book of Acts. The Psalm describes the type of man he’d become, and the Collect asks God for the continued ministry of reconciliation in our own day.