Apr. 30 The Holy Apostle James, Brother of John the Theologian

Bulletin as of April 29 2024

The Holy Apostle James, son of Zebedee, was the brother of St. John the Theologian, and one of the Twelve Apostles. He and his brother, St. John, were called to be Apostles by our Lord Jesus Christ, Who called them the “Sons of Thunder” (Mark 3:17). It was this James, with John and Peter, who witnessed the Raising of the daughter of Jairus, the Lord’s Transfiguration on Mount Tabor, and His agony in the Garden of Gethsemane. After the Descent of the Holy Spirit, St. James preached in Spain and other lands before returning to Jerusalem. He openly and boldly preached Jesus Christ as the Savior of the world, and he denounces the Pharisees and the Scribes with the words of Holy Scripture, reproaching them for their malice of heart and unbelief.



You were an apostle of Christ and the beloved of John. O praiseworthy James, obtain absolution for those who sing the praises of your memory and find mercy for our souls. 



O glorious James, when you heard the Divine Word calling you, you put aside your love for your father and hurried to Christ with your brother, John. Therefore, both of you were made worthy to see the divine Transfiguration of the Lord. 


Readings for the saint


Acts 12: 1-11

In those days King Herod started to harass some of the members of the church. He beheaded James the brother of John, and when he saw that this pleased certain Jews, he took Peter into custody too. During the Feast of Unleavened Bread he had Peter arrested and thrown into prison with four squads of soldiers to guard him. Herod intended to bring him before the people after the Passover. Peter was thus detained in prison, while the church prayed fervently to God on his behalf. During the night before Herod was to bring him to trial, Peter was sleeping between two soldiers, fastened in double chains, while guards kept watch at the door. Suddenly an angel of the Lord stood nearby and light shone in the cell. He tapped Peter on the side and woke him. “Hurry, get up!” the angel said. With that, the chains dropped from Peter’s wrists. The angel said, “Put on your belt and your sandals!” This Peter did. Then the angel told him, “Now put on your cloak and follow me.”

Peter followed the angel out, but with no clear realization that this was taking place through the angel’s help. The whole thing seemed to him a mirage. They passed the first guard, then the second, and finally came to the iron gate leading out to the city, which opened for them of itself. They emerged and made their way down a narrow alley, when suddenly the angel left him. Peter had recovered his senses by this time, and said, “Now I know for certain that the Lord has sent his angel to rescue me from Herod’s clutches and from all the Jews hoped for.”



Luke 5: 1-11

At that time as Jesus stood by the Lake of Gennesaret, and the crowd pressed in on him to hear the word of God, he saw two boats moored by the side of the lake; the fishermen had disembarked and were washing their nets. He got into one of the boats, the one belonging to Simon, and asked him to pull out a short distance from the shore; then, remaining seated, he continued to teach the crowds from the boat. When he had finished speaking he said to Simon, “Put out into deep water and lower your nets for a catch.” Simon answered, “Master, we have been hard at it all night long and have caught nothing; but if you say so, I will lower the nets.” Upon doing this they caught such a great number of fish that their nets were at the breaking point. They signaled to their mates in the other boats to come and help them. These came, and together they filled the two boats until they nearly sank.

At the sight of this, Simone Peter fell at the knees of Jesus saying, “Leave me, Lord. I am a sinful man.” For indeed, amazement at the catch they had made seized him and all his shipmates, as well as James and John, the sons of Zebedee, who were partners with Simon. Jesus said to Simon, “Do not be afraid. From now on you will be catching men.” With that they brought their boats to land, left everything, and became his followers. 

Readings for the day


Acts 12:25 – 13:12

In those days, Barnabas, Symeon known as Niger, Lucius of Cyrene, Manaen (who had been brought up with Herod the tetrarch), and Saul. On one occasion, while they were engaged in the liturgy of the Lord and were fasting, the Holy Spirit spoke to them: “Set apart Barnabas and Saul for me to do the work for which I have called them.” Then, after they had fasted and prayed, they imposed hands on Paul and Barnabas and sent them off. 

These two, sent forth by the Holy Spirit, went down to the port of Seleucia and set sail from there for Cyprus. On their arrival in Salamis they proclaimed the word of God in the Jewish synagogues, John accompanying them as an assistant. They traveled over the whole island as far as Paphos, where they came across a Jewish magician named Bar-Jesus who posed as a prophet. He was attached to the court of the proconsular governor Sergius Paulus, a man of intelligence who had summoned Barnabas and Saul and was anxious to hear the word of God. But Elymas – “the magician,” for that was what his name means – opposed them and sought to turn the governor away from the faith. Saul (also known as Paul) was filled with the Holy Spirit; he stared at Elymas and exclaimed: “You are an imposter and a thoroughgoing fraud, you son of Satan and enemy of all that is right! Will you never stop trying to make crooked the straight path of the Lord? The Lord’s hand is upon you even now! For a time you shall be blind, unable so much as to see the sun.” At once a musty darkness came over Elymas, and he groped about for someone to lead him by the hand. When the governor saw what had happened, he believed, so impressed was he by the teaching about the Lord. 



John 8:51-58

The Lord said to the people coming to him: “I solemnly assure you, if a man is true to my word he shall never see death.” The Jews retorted, “Now we are sure you are possessed. Abraham is dead. The prophets are dead. Yet you claim, ‘A man shall never know death if he keeps my word.’ Surely you do not pretend to be greater than our father Abraham, who died! Or the prophets, who died! Whom do you make yourself out to be?”

Jesus answered: “If I glorify myself, that glory comes to nothing. He who gives me glory is the Father, the very one you claim for your God, even though you so not know him. But I know him. Were I to say I do not know him, I would be no better than you – a liar! Yes, I know him well, and I keep his word. Your father Abraham rejoiced that he might see my day. He saw it and was glad.”

At this the Jews objected: “You are not yet fifty! How can you have seen Abraham?” Jesus answered them: “I solemnly declare it: before Abraham came to be, I AM.” At that they picked up rocks to throw at Jesus, but he hid himself and slipped out of the temple precincts. 



Icon courtesy of Jack Figel, Eastern Christian Publications – ecpubs.com


Monday, April 29 –

  • 5:00 PM