Feast of Apostles Philip and James
1st Reading: 1 Cor 15:1-8
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.
Gospel: Jn 14:6-14
Jesus said to Thomas, “I am the way and the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me. If you know me, then you will also know my Father. From now on you do know him and have seen him.” Philip said to him, “Master, show us the Father, and that will be enough for us.” Jesus said to him, “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. How can you say, ‘Show us the Father’? Do you not believe that I am in the Father and the Father is in me? The words that I speak to you I do not speak on my own. The Father who dwells in me is doing his works. Believe me that I am in the Father and the Father is in me, or else, believe because of the works themselves. Amen, amen, I say to you, whoever believes in me will do the works that I do, and will do greater ones than these, because I am going to the Father. And whatever you ask in my name, I will do, so that the Father may be glorified in the Son. If you ask anything of me in my name, I will do it.”
I AM IN THE FATHER AND THE FATHER IS IN ME: Philip already shows a high level of understanding of the nature of Jesus when he makes the request, “Master, show us the Father…” He not only expresses his deep desire to see the Father, but also believes that Jesus is the way to the Father. However, Jesus makes use of the occasion to reveal himself even further: “To see me is to see the Father!” The implication of this is that whoever builds an intimate relationship with Jesus will perform the same works that Jesus does. It is not magical. It is relational. When our own intimacy with Jesus resembles the intimacy that exists between the Father and the Son, then we do what the Son does. Could this be the core of Christianity? And so, we pray with Philip…
Prayer: Lord, may we see you. For in seeing you, we see the Father!
THE HUMAN FACE OF GOD: In Jesus we discover who and how God is. When God wanted to reveal himself, He pronounced just one word: Jesus of Nazareth. The Letter to the Hebrews says: “God had spoken in the past in many different ways, although never completely; but now, he has spoken definitely to us through the Son” (Heb 1:1-2). Also, the Apostle Paul affirms: “He is the image of the unseen God” (Col 1:15). In Jesus´s life, acts and words God´s life is revealed to us. Even more, his flesh is the manifestation of God´s love towards humanity. When Jesus touched the sick, they were touched by God; when he was close to sinners, God was close to them and when they were forgiven, the Father´s mercy was embracing them. Seeing and believing Jesus is seeing and believing the Father; knowing and loving him is knowing and loving God because Jesus is the visible face of God.
MAY WE SEE THE FATHER: Jesus has been speaking about his Father so much that Philip has only one desire, “Show us the Father.” But he is told that one who has seen Jesus has seen also the Father. He is the visible face of his Father. The work he does and what he says too, reveal his Father. Having seen the Father in Jesus, the apostles are to proclaim it to the world. That is the mission of the apostles. They would do it even at the cost of their lives. St. James was martyred for faith in the year 62, although he was greatly esteemed and received the surname “James the Just”. Philip according to tradition also acquired martyrdom and preached even from the cross. Apostles witness Jesus in life and death.