03 May – Feast of Ss Philip and James, Apostles
Philip was a disciple of St. John the Baptist, and a convert. He was one of the Twelve Apostles, and brought St. Nathanael to Christ. He was a confidant of Jesus’. Little is known about him, but scriptural episodes give the impression of a shy, naïve, but practical individual. He preached in Greece and Asia Minor, and died a martyr for the faith.
– Patron Saint Index
1 Corinthians 15:1-8
Brothers, I want to remind you of the gospel I preached to you, the gospel that you received and in which you are firmly established; because the gospel will save you only if you keep believing exactly what I preached to you – believing anything else will not lead to anything.
Well then, in the first place, I taught you what I had been taught myself, namely that Christ died for our sins, in accordance with the scriptures; that he was buried; and that he was raised to life on the third day, in accordance with the scriptures; that he appeared first to Cephas and secondly to the Twelve. Next he appeared to more than five hundred of the brothers at the same time, most of whom are still alive, though some have died; then he appeared to James, and then to all the apostles; and last of all he appeared to me too; it was as though I was born when no one expected it.
Jesus said to Thomas:
‘I am the Way, the Truth and the Life.
No one can come to the Father except through me.
If you know me, you know my Father too.
From this moment you know him and have seen him.’
Philip said, ‘Lord, let us see the Father and then we shall be satisfied.’
‘Have I been with you all this time, Philip,’ said Jesus to him ‘and you still do not know me?
‘To have seen me is to have seen the Father,
so how can you say, “Let us see the Father”?
Do you not believe
that I am in the Father and the Father is in me?
The words I say to you I do not speak as from myself:
it is the Father, living in me, who is doing this work.
You must believe me when I say
that I am in the Father and the Father is in me;
believe it on the evidence of this work, if for no other reason.
I tell you most solemnly,
whoever believes in me
will perform the same works as I do myself,
he will perform even greater works,
because I am going to the Father.
Whatever you ask for in my name I will do,
so that the Father may be glorified in the Son.
If you ask for anything in my name,
I will do it.’
And you still do not know me
Recently, I read a little about the 12-step programme used by alcoholics in rehabilitation. One of the steps involve doing two good deeds a day that no one will ever find out about. This step is probably particularly effective for people with addictions, but I thought that this could be a useful step for me to adopt in my daily life. I think I do tend to hope that my good deeds receive some recognition.
Not much is mentioned of Saints Philip and James son of Alphaeus in scripture. Compared to apostles like Peter and Paul, who are featured so prominently in the bible, Saints Philip and James are practically unknowns, save for the fact that they were the first-generation disciples chosen by Jesus. A lot of their deeds are not known, but it does not diminish the fact that their efforts were instrumental in building up the church.
Philip asked the Lord to let him see the Father, so that he can be sure about what Jesus has been saying. This request seems a little out of place especially since Jesus, the Lord, is standing right in front of him and telling him his identity. Philip still hoped for some proof, and what more the rest of us mere mortals who, within our human limitations, seek to know God but can’t really be sure.
Today, as we celebrate the feast days of Saints Philip and James, let us remember and pray for all the unknown men and women who gave their lives for Christ. We also pray for a deeper faith, that the works of Jesus in our lives become more visible to us and may lead us to Him.
(Today’s OXYGEN by Edith Koh)
Prayer: Lord, we pray that we may live out the meaning of your resurrection in our lives.
Thanksgiving: We give thanks for the many graces that God has bestowed upon us.
Wed, 04 May – Acts of the Apostles 5:17-26; John 3:16-21
Thu, 05 May – Acts of the Apostles 5:27-33; John 3:31-36
Fri, 06 May – Acts of the Apostles 5:34-42; John 6:1-15
Sat, 07 May – Acts of the Apostles 6: 1-7; John 6:16-21
Sun, 08 May – Acts of the Apostles 2:14.22-33; 1 Peter 1:17-21; Luke 24:13-35; Third Sunday of Easter