In every sick person, there is Christ who is suffering! In every poor person, there is Christ who is languishing! In every sick person who is poor, Christ is doubly there!
-from: Padre Pio: A Personal Portrait
✞ "Nothing great is ever achieved without much enduring." — St. Catherine of Siena
✞ MEDITATION OF THE DAY "If you love God, lust has no place in your heart. Saint Augustine teaches that the sin of lust is like an iron chain that binds you fast, enslaving your will to perversity. When lust gains entry to your heart, it quickly takes root as a habit. If you don't resist and uproot it, that habit inevitably becomes necessary." — Patrick Madrid, p. 336 AN EXCERPT FROM A Year with the Bible
✞ VERSE OF THE DAY "For the Lord gives wisdom; from his mouth come knowledge and understanding; he stores up sound wisdom for the upright; he is a shield to those who walk blamelessly, guarding the paths of justice and preserving the way of his faithful ones." Proverbs 2:6-8
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Saints Philip and James
Saint of the Day for May 3
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Saints Philip and James' Story
James, Son of Alphaeus: We know nothing of this man except his name, and, of course, the fact that Jesus chose him to be one of the 12 pillars of the New Israel, his Church. He is not the James of Acts, son of Clopas, "brother" of Jesus and later bishop of Jerusalem and the traditional author of the Letter of James. James, son of Alphaeus, is also known as James the Lesser to avoid confusing him with James the son of Zebedee, also an apostle and known as James the Greater.
Philip: Philip came from the same town as Peter and Andrew, Bethsaida in Galilee. Jesus called him directly, whereupon he sought out Nathanael and told him of the "one about whom Moses wrote" (John 1:45).
Like the other apostles, Philip took a long time coming to realize who Jesus was. 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. Saint John comments, "[Jesus] said this to test him, because he himself knew what he was going to do" (John 6:6). Philip answered, "Two hundred days' wages worth of food would not be enough for each of them to have a little [bit]" (John 6:7).
John's story is not a put-down of Philip. It was simply necessary for these men who were to be the foundation stones of the Church to see the clear distinction between humanity's total helplessness apart from God and the human ability to be a bearer of divine power by God's gift.
On another occasion, we can almost hear the exasperation in Jesus's voice. After Thomas had complained that they did not know where Jesus was going, Jesus said, "I am the way…If you know me, then you will also know my Father. From now on you do know him and have seen him" (John 14:6a, 7). Then Philip said, "Master, show us the Father, and that will be enough for us" (John 14:8). Enough! 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" (John 14:9a).
Possibly because Philip bore a Greek name or because he was thought to be close to Jesus, some gentile proselytes came to him and asked him to introduce them to Jesus. Philip went to Andrew, and Andrew went to Jesus. Jesus's reply in John's Gospel is indirect; Jesus says that now his "hour" has come, that in a short time he will give his life for Jew and gentile alike.
As in the case of the other apostles, we see in James and Philip human men who became foundation stones of the Church, and we are reminded again that holiness and its consequent apostolate are entirely the gift of God, not a matter of human achieving. All power is God's power, even the power of human freedom to accept his gifts. "You will be clothed with power from on high," Jesus told Philip and the others. Their first commission had been to expel unclean spirits, heal diseases, announce the kingdom. They learned, gradually, that these externals were sacraments of an even greater miracle inside their persons—the divine power to love like God.
Saints Philip and James are the Patron Saints of:
Feast of Saints Philip and James, Apostles
Reading 1 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.
Responsorial Psalm Ps 19:2-3, 4-5 R. (5) Their message goes out through all the earth. or: R. Alleluia. The heavens declare the glory of God; and the firmament proclaims his handiwork. Day pours out the word to day; and night to night imparts knowledge. R. Their message goes out through all the earth. or: R. Alleluia. Not a word nor a discourse whose voice is not heard; Through all the earth their voice resounds, and to the ends of the world, their message. R. Their message goes out through all the earth. or: R. Alleluia.
Alleluia Jn 14:6b, 9c R. Alleluia, alleluia. I am the way, the truth, and the life, says the Lord; Philip, whoever has seen me has seen the Father. R. Alleluia, alleluia.
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."
Christ died for our sins in accordance with the Scriptures. (1 Corinthians 15:3)
Little is known about Philip and James, the apostles whom we commemorate today. According to the Gospel of John, Philip came from Bethsaida, "the town of Andrew and Peter," and may have been a friend or business partner of theirs (John 1:44). Before the miracle of the multiplication of the loaves and fishes, Jesus asked Philip how they should feed the crowd. Philip, a businessman, calculated what it would cost and concluded that it simply could not be done (6:5-7).
Philip was just as straightforward in persuading Nathanael to meet Jesus. When his friend doubted Jesus' credentials, Philip said, "Come and see" (John 1:46). Apart from a few other limited references, however, Philip appears nowhere else in the New Testament. (He is not the same Philip who was a deacon in the early Church—Acts 6:5; 8:6.)
We know even less about James, the son of Alphaeus. He is even called "the younger" or "lesser" to distinguish him from James, the brother of John. Some traditions consider him to be the same James who led the early Jerusalem community, but his identity is uncertain (Acts 15:13; Galatians 1:19; 2:9).
It shouldn't surprise us that even though little is known about these men, they are still honored as saints. Jesus didn't choose them because of their leadership ability or theological expertise. He called regular people with jobs, homes, and families. Their lives were changed when they met the Son of God, and over time he formed them so that he could send them out to proclaim his good news. In fact, the Greek word apostolos means "one who is sent."
Each of us has been called and sent forth as well—including you. Jesus has a special plan and calling for you, just as he did for Philip and James. And that plan begins with the promise of meeting the Lord and having your life changed by him. So today in prayer, quiet your heart and mind, and let Jesus show you his love. As he does, he will also show you his calling.
"Lord, as I spend time with you today, show me your loving kindness. Empower me to witness to the people around me who need to know your love."
Psalm 19:2-5 John 14:6-14
my2cents: Saint Paul ends today "Last of all, as to one born abnormally, he appeared to me." What is not normal in our view, could be normal for the Lord. What we see as failure, could be the seed the Lord needs for success. So the connecting ingredient...is faith.
We pray today "Their message goes out through all the earth... Day pours out the word to day; and night to night imparts knowledge. Not a word nor a discourse whose voice is not heard" I want us to watch every last word that sputters out of our mouths. Every word is heard on "the other side". And it very well could be amplified. Every bad word: noted. Every soft whisper: noted. Practice then, virtue. Practice then...being Christ.
We heard our Lord today "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." Now, add your name "Have I been with you for so long a time and you still do not know Me, your name?" Do you still not know Me? I Am right here! "where are you Lord?" we may ask. "Where are you because I need you so much!". "Where are you because, I live life alone, and I'm afraid!" "Where are you Lord? Show yourself". And these are the words the people crucifying the Lord said ""He saved others; let Him save Himself if this is the Christ of God, His Chosen One." Luke 23:35. And this is to say to the Lord on the cross "Lord get off your cross and come help me!" Oh, no. No sir and no Ma'am. If the Lord is found suffering, it is for you and for salvation.
I randomly opened the book "The Imitation of Christ" by Kempis, and it said: "But be prepared to suffer tribulations and to consider them the greatest comforts, saying with St. Paul: "I consider that the sufferings we presently endure are miniscule in comparison with the glory to be revealed in us" (Rom 8:18), even though you alone were able to endure it all. 11. When you reach the degree of patience that tribulation is sweet to you and even relished for Christ, then you may trust that all is well with you, for you have found paradise on earth. But as long as suffering plagues you and you seek to run away from it, then you will know that it is not well with you. You are a long way from perfect patience and the tribulation will follow you everywhere.
12. If you resolve to do what you ought, that is, to suffer and to die to yourself, things will go better with you and you will find peace.......13. Oh that you were worthy to suffer something for the Name of Jesus! What great glory would await you, what great rejoicing among all the Saints, and, moreover, what great edification to your neighbor! "
Jesus our Lord and King says "Amen, amen, I say to you, whoever believes in me will do the works that I do, and will do greater ones than these". That is, like saint Paul says today "unless you believed in vain." And "in vain" means emptiness, that is why we can not use the Name of the Lord in vain. It is to throw away something precious. And you, you are very precious. If it were not so, you would not have been led by the Holy Spirit to read these words "you are precious". And those suffering souls, precious. Even more precious. Does not a mother tend with even more love and affection to the sick and lonely child? Precious then.
And God reaches them through you. That's how much He loves us in the world. I believe in angels, and sometimes I feel my life is guided and touched by angels. I listen for angelic voices in Mass and I stare at the Father in Mass, following His every move...and then I gaze at the cross. THE MOST PRECIOUS