Today the Church celebrates the Feast of St. James. In doing so, we are reminded of the apostolic foundation of the Church. We are dependent for our faith on those first witnesses of the life, death and resurrection of Jesus. According to the Acts of the Apostles, St. James was martyred in Jerusalem about ten years or so after the death of Jesus. In the prayers assigned to the feast day we remember St. James as the first of the apostles to die. But that is not exactly accurate. Judas was one of the twelve and he died at the same time Jesus did. We should never forget that from the very beginning the followers of Jesus have been both saints and sinners. That serves as a constant reminder of our need for repentance, conversion, and mercy.