The quote in the title is by Our Lord to Saint James and his brother, from today’s Gospel; it is followed by the admission that to sit on His right or left is not His decision to make.  In short, yes, you will suffer for Me, but do it for love of Me and not for any reward.

In fact, this exchange reminds me of the poignant interview between the Mother of God and King Alfred in Chesterton’s Ballad of the White Horse:

“The gates of heaven are lightly locked,
We do not guard our gold,
Men may uproot where worlds begin,
Or read the name of the nameless sin;
But if he fail or if he win
To no good man is told.

“But you and all the kind of Christ
Are ignorant and brave,
And you have wars you hardly win
And souls you hardly save.

“I tell you naught for your comfort,
Yea, naught for your desire,
Save that the sky grows darker yet
And the sea rises higher.”

“Night shall be thrice night over you,
And heaven an iron cope.
Do you have joy without a cause,
Yea, faith without a hope?”

In this vein, St. Paul speaks so beautifully about the mission of the apostles in today’s epistle from First Corinthians:

[9] For I think that God hath set forth us apostles, the last, as it were men appointed to death: we are made a spectacle to the world, and to angels, and to men. [10] We are fools for Christ’s sake, but you are wise in Christ; we are weak, but you are strong; you are honourable, but we without honour.

[11] Even unto this hour we both hunger and thirst, and are naked, and are buffeted, and have no fixed abode; [12] And we labour, working with our own hands: we are reviled, and we bless; we are persecuted, and we suffer it. [13]We are blasphemed, and we entreat; we are made as the refuse of this world, the offscouring of all even until now. [14] I write not these things to confound you; but I admonish you as my dearest children. [15] For if you have ten thousand instructors in Christ, yet not many fathers. For in Christ Jesus, by the gospel, I have begotten you.

Dear Readers, in these days of woe, we are all called to the same task as the apostles, as Santiago himself, as King Alfred: Do we love and labor manfully, without (worldy-speaking) hope of success, as the waves grow higher?

Santiago Matamoros, ora pro nobis!