Ok. How many Apostles did the Lord Jesus choose? Twelve.
How many of the Twelve had the name James? Two.
The first James had a brother named… James and… John!
The second James had a cousin named…
Jesus. Right. Jesus, the only son of Mary, the only-begotten Son of God. The second Apostle James shared Jesus’ bloodline. James was Jesus’ relative.
We know that most of the Lord Jesus’ cousins did not believe in Him. At least not during His earthly ministry. As we discussed last week, the Lord raised a young man from the dead in a town near Nazareth. But this did not cause all of Christ’s cousins to rejoice. A lot of them thought He was out of His mind.
Maybe we can sympathize with them. Imagine having a cousin, a little scrub you used to run around with, play hide-and-seek with, dig holes in the back yard with–imagine that your cousin turns out to be the Messiah, the Savior, the divine King. Hard to accept.
Later on, however, as we can gather from the Acts of the Apostles and St. Paul’s letters, the Lord Jesus’ relatives did come to believe in Him. They worked with the Apostles to spread the Gospel.
What changed? What happened in the meantime to open their minds to the truth? A pretty obvious thing. Pretty solid proof that, Yes, Jesus of Nazareth, carpenter, is the Messiah.
The Lord Jesus appeared to some of His relatives after He rose from the dead. That was pretty convincing. We can imagine that the relatives felt bad for doubting Him before, and apologized. And He forgave them.
Let’s put ourselves in those relatives’ shoes again. We, too, have doubted. We have doubted a Savior Who always has the best possible plan. We just didn’t see it. And now I realize that I said or did something I shouldn’t have said or done, solely because I did not trust Jesus Christ. I find myself feeling like the priest Ezra, i.e., penitent.
What do I do? Apologize. How?
Priests go to Confession just like everyone else does. I have to find another priest to hear my confession. Much easier for you all. Just find your local parish priest. A completely fresh start to the spiritual life is one good confession away.