BLESSED JAMES STREPA, BISHOP
James (Jakub) was born about 1340. At a young age, he entered the Order of Franciscans and became known as a zealous missionary of Eastern Borderlands. In 1391 he became Archbishop of Halicz-Lviv. He had a special devotion to the Blessed Sacrament and the Blessed Virgin. He died on 20 October 1409.
Common of Pastors.
OFFICE OF READINGS
From a sermon by Saint Fulgentius of Ruspe, bishop
(Sermo 1,2-3: CCL 91A, 889-890)
The Faithful and Wise Steward
The Lord, in his desire to explain the special function of those servants whom he placed over his people, said: Who do you think is the faithful and wise steward whom his master has set over his household to give them their portion of food at the, proper time? That servant is blessed if he is found doing this when his master comes.
And who is the master? None other than Christ, who said to his disciples: You call me teacher and master, and you are right, for so I am. And who is the master’s household? Surely, it is the Church which the Lord redeemed from the power of the adversary, and which he purchased for himself, thereby becoming its master. This household is the holy Catholic Church which is so fruitfully extended far and wide over the world, rejoicing that it has been redeemed by the precious blood of the Lord. As the Lord himself says: “The Son of Man came not to be served but to serve, and to give his life as a ransom for many.”
Furthermore, he is the Good Shepherd who has laid down his life for his sheep; the Good Shepherd’s flock is this household of the Redeemer.
But who is the steward who must be both faithful and wise? The apostle Paul tells us when he says of himself and his companions: “This is how one should regard us, as servants of Christ and stewards of the mysteries of God. Moreover, it is required of stewards that they be found faithful.”
But this does not mean that the apostles alone have been appointed our stewards, nor that any of us may give up our duty of spiritual combat and, as lazy servants, sleep our time away, and be neither faithful nor wise. For the blessed Apostle tells us that the bishops too are stewards. “A bishop, he says, must be blameless because he is God’s steward.”
We bishops, then, are the servants of the householder, the stewards of the Master, and we have received the portion of food to dispense to you. If we should wonder what that portion of food is, the blessed Apostle Paul tells us when he says: “To each according to the measure of faith which God has assigned to him.”
Hence what Christ calls the portion of food, Paul calls the measure of faith. We may therefore take this spiritual food to mean the venerable mystery of the Christian faith. And we give you this portion of food in the Lord’s name as often as we, enlightened by the gift of grace, teach you in accordance with the rule of the true faith. In turn, you daily receive the portion of food at the hands of the Lord’s stewards when you hear the word of truth from the servants of God.
RESPONSORY cf. Matthew 25:21; 20
Well done, my good and faithful servant; you have been faithful in the little tasks I gave you; now I will entrust you with greater ones.
– Come and share my joy.
Lord, you gave me five coins, and see I bring you back double.
– Come and share my joy.
you gave Blessed James Strepa, bishop, an apostolic zeal in the proclamation of the Gospel,
grant that we, through his intercession, may always offer you the testimony of our faith and deeds.
Through our Lord Jesus Christ, your Son,
who lives and reigns with you in the unity of the Holy Spirit,
one God, for ever and ever.