Posted by: liturgicalyear | May 3, 2012

Saints Philip and James

T[Saint Philip the Apostle]today we celebrate the feasts of two apostles, Saint Philip and Saint James, both martyred as they spread the faith of the early church.

Saint Philip, a disciple of Saint John the Baptist, preached in Greece and Asia Minor and was martyred in Phrygia (modern-day Turkey) in the year 80.

Saint James, also called, James the Just and James the Lesser, wrote the Epistle of James (one of my faves) and served Jerusalem as its first bishop.  In the year 62, Saint James was thrown from the top of the temple then stoned and beaten with clubs.  He prayed for his attackers before succumbing to death.

I don’t know about you, but I think I’d find that kind of hard to do.  In fact, I think I’d find the whole martyrdom thing quite a challenge.   I look with great awe at men like Philip and James and ponder, “What kind of faith does it take to stand so firmly that death holds no threat?”  I wonder if I’ll ever know it myself.

Did you ever stop and think about the apostles?  Twelve men, scattered and fearing for their lives on Good Friday, then transformed into zealous followers of Jesus willing to die for him and his Church.  Those twelve gave us what we have today in the worldwide Catholic Church.  Their witness shows the power of God when we cooperate with His plan.  They would never know in this life the effects that their yes would have.

Today’s first reading beautifully reminds us of the gift of their lives.

I am reminding you, brothers and sisters,
of the Gospel I preached to you,
which you indeed received and in which you also stand.
Through it you are also being saved,
if you hold fast to the word I preached to you,
unless you believed in vain.
For I handed on to you as of first importance what I also received:
that Christ died for our sins
in accordance with the Scriptures;
that he was buried;
that he was raised on the third day
in accordance with the Scriptures;
that he appeared to Cephas, then to the Twelve.
After that, he appeared to more
than five hundred brothers and sisters at once,
most of whom are still living,
though some have fallen asleep.
After that he appeared to James,
then to all the Apostles.
Last of all, as to one born abnormally,
he appeared to me. (1Cor 15:1-8)

So today, would you pray with me that through the intercession of Saints Philip and James we will have the courage to say yes to whatever God calls us to do.

Saint Philip and Saint James, Pray for us!  Anne

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