Monday, May 3, 2010

Sts Philip and James: Apostles

Some background because, like so many, the history of these two apostles is little known or understood.  Philip was the man who asked Jesus where he was going?  How could they follow him since they were not so sure of his mission.  This Philip was born at Bethsaida.  He became interested in Jesus because of the preaching of John the Baptist.  John led him to Jesus.  You might recall that Philip was the apostle Jesus had help in getting food for the people who were following Jesus.  After the death, Resurrection and Ascension, historians have indicated that Philip continued his apostolic work in what we know as Turkey.

James is known to be the cousin of Jesus.  His father is Alphaeus.  The church in Jerusalem was under his care.  Through his efforts and the Council of Jerusalem, the Gentiles were allowed to become Christians.  They were not required to be circumcised.  James has a letter published in the New Testament of every bible.  Historians record his martyrdom in 61 AD.

It is the activity of apostles such and Philip and James that might make you and me wonder about their subsequent work as followers of Jesus.  What made the difference in their lives was a simple reality.  It was this:  these men and the other apostles and a few others had that extraordinary gift from Jesus:  he appeared to them after the Resurrection.  Wouldn't your life be very different if there was a day when Jesus appeared to you and spoke with you?  Most likely, you would become another Paul, another Philip, another James.  How could you not become so driven?

But Jesus has not appeared to us.  So, we are called upon to believe.  There's the challenge!  Have a great day!