In the first reading, St Paul speaks of the manifestations of Christ after his resurrection. One of these appearances was to James.
In the gospel, Jesus tells the apostle Philip, whose feast we celebrate, that whoever sees him, the Son of God, sees the Father. Jesus and the Father are one and Jesus has revealed the Father to all people.
Philip was from Bethsaida, the fishing village where two other apostles, Andrew and Peter, kept their boat. Philip invited his best friend, Nathanael, to meet Jesus. When Nathanael skeptically asked, “Can anything good come out of Nazareth?” Philip convinced him with three words, “Come and see.” Nathanael saw and stayed. Later in the Gospel story, some Gentiles approached Philip with a request, “Sir, we wish to see Jesus.” It was another perfect occasion to say, “Come and see.”
James, who shares this feast day with Philip, is often referred to as the younger or the lesser to distinguish him from the other apostle James. He became the first bishop of Jerusalem- an extremely important position, especially in the early Church, before the move to Rome. He is the author of one epistle, which bears his name. In it, the follower of Jesus is constantly encouraged to accomplish good works. This unique apostle and author was most likely a first cousin of Jesus.
Today we walk for a moment in the memory of these two apostles who have left their indelible footprints in the sands of time.
Our challenge today:
TO bring people to Jesus, as Philip did to Nathanael his best friend, and not to hinder people to see Jesus by advertising our own agenda and self-innterest. Always bring people to Jesus.
TO do good works and to continue doing the good works that we do, as St James urges us in his letter to express our faith in God more fully.