3RD MAY 2022
FEAST OF SAINTS PHILIP and JAMES, APOSTLES
Readings: 1 Corinthians 15:1-8/Psalm 19:2-3, 4-5/John 14:6-14
THEME: THE LIVES OF PHILIP AND JAMES
JAMES: James, son of Alphaeus, called James the Lesser wrote the epistle that bears his name and became the bishop of Jerusalem. He is the brother of Jude, and they are cousins of Jesus because their mother Mary, who was married to Alphaeus or Clophas, is the sister or cousin of Jesus’ mother. (This James is different from James the Greater, the son of Zebedee who was married to another sister or cousin of Mary; hence, James and his brother John were also cousins of Jesus). James the Lesser is also known by the title of James the Just on account of his eminent sanctity. James and his brother Jude were called to the apostleship in the second year of Christ’s preaching, soon after the Pasch, probably in the year 31. James, son of Alphaeus, only appears four times in the New Testament, each time in a list of the twelve apostles as number 9. In Christian art he is depicted holding a fuller’s club because he was believed to have been martyred, beaten to death with a fuller’s club, at Ostrakine in Lower Egypt, where he was preaching the Gospel.
PHILIP: John describes Philip as a fisherman from Bethsaida in Galilee, the same town as Andrew and Peter. It is possible that Philip was originally a follower or disciple of John the Baptist because John depicts Jesus calling Philip out of a crowd attending John’s baptisms. Immediately after his call as an apostle by Jesus, Philip introduced Jesus to his friend Nathaniel as the “one about whom Moses wrote” (Jn 1:45). On one occasion, when Jesus saw the great multitude following him and wanted to give them food, he asked Philip where they should buy bread for the people to eat. Philip expressed his surprise declaring “two hundred days’ wages worth of food would not be enoughfor each of them to have a little bit” (Jn 6:7). It was in answer to Philip’s question, “Master, show us the Father, and that will be enough for us” (Jn 14:8) that Jesus answered, “Have I been with you for so long a time and you still do not know me, Philip? Whoever has seen me has seen the Father” (Jn 14:9). Since Philip had a Greek name, some Greek Gentile proselytes once approached him with a request to introduce them to Jesus. Eusebius records that Polycrates, 2nd century Bishop of Ephesus, wrote that Philip was crucified in Phrygia and later buried in Hierapolis, in Turkey. Tradition has it that his death was around AD 54. We celebrate his feast day on May 3rd.
Just as Jesus tells us today that whoever lives in Jesus also lives with the Father because Jesus and the Father are one, let us pray that we will be able to affirm this truth then we can be certain that we are on the right path as far as the teaching of Jesus is concerned. Let us encourage each other so that we can continually seek to know the Lord through Jesus, who is Lord and Master of our lives. And finally, let us ask the intercession of Sts. James and Philip so that we too may bear witness of Jesus by our lives to those around us.
STS. JAMES AND PHILIP,
PRAY FOR US!