Today the church remembers Saint James of Jerusalem, Brother of Our Lord Jesus Christ, and Martyr, C. 62.James was, according to the Gospels of Matthew and Mark and the Epistles of Paul, a brother of Jesus. Yet he was not a believer during the Lord's earthly ministry. Jesus appeared to him after the resurrection and James was converted. He soon rose to prominence in the church and became the Bishop of Jerusalem. He presided over the important Council in Jerusalem that decided to permit Gentiles to join the church. As the church grew and prospered, James became less and less popular with the authorities. According to the historian, Josephus, he was eventually stoned and clubbed to death by a mob. James of Jerusalem is usually considered to be the author of the Epistle of James. If this is the case, he certainly had a clear insight into the Lord's message and ministry and its relationship to the Old Covenant. Grant, we pray, O God, that following the example of your servant James, the 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 for ever. Amen.
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