A childlike person has a heart that is uncomplicated and wise, loving, and trusting in God. A childlike person feels sheltered and safe in God's love. He lives his life peacefully and without worry about the past or future. A truly childlike person can cope with, and even overcome, anxiety. A child knows that whatever happens to him at every moment was foreseen for him by the Father and will contribute to his formation. The childlike person's only concern is to discover what God wants from him right now.
—from Forgiving Mother: A Marian Novena of Healing and Peace
"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."
click to read more
Saints Philip and James
(? – ?)
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" (Jn 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" (Jn 6:6). Philip answered, "Two hundred days' wages worth of food would not be enough for each of them to have a little [bit]" (Jn 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" (Jn 14:6a, 7). Then Philip said, "Master, show us the Father, and that will be enough for us" (Jn 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" (Jn 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.
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.
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.
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."
Meditation: John 14:6-14
Saints Philip and James, Apostles (Feast)<
Believe me . . . or else, believe because of the works themselves. (John 14:11)
Because of Philip's personal history with Jesus, we may wonder how he could possibly say, "Show us the Father" (John 14:8). After all, Jesus, the way to the Father, was standing in front of him and James and all the other apostles (14:6). Plus, Jesus had just declared, "If you know me, then you will also know my Father" (14:7). But maybe we should go easy on Philip. Here we are, two thousand years and twenty-one councils later, and even we can have trouble understanding what God is up to!
Recall how Jesus responded to Philip. He said, "The Father who dwells in me is doing his works. Believe me . . . or else, believe because of the works themselves" (John 14:10-11). Jesus was encouraging him not to give up when he couldn't understand, but to keep asking, seeking, and knocking for the answers.
We may not understand everything. We may feel as if we don't understand anything. But we can shift our focus from what we can't understand to what we can grasp.
For example, you may not be able to wrap your mind around how Jesus is present in the Eucharist under the appearance of bread and wine. But you can marvel that Eucharistic celebrations happen every day all over the world.
Perhaps you're having a hard time understanding a certain passage in Scripture, and it is weighing on your mind. "Will I ever learn?" you ask yourself. But you can remember how deeply Jesus blesses childlike faith.
Maybe you're struggling to understand why you don't always feel God's presence when you pray. But you can try to dwell on ways you have already seen his work. You might sense his peace during a moment of early-morning tranquility. Or just the opposite: you might discover his sense of humor in the chaos of a messy situation. Let his workings, both great and small, stir your faith!
Philip and James' stories didn't end with today's Gospel reading. These two men went on to become two of the evangelists and martyrs who laid the very foundation of the Church. God was working then, even when they couldn't see it. And he's working now!
"Father, reveal your work to me even when mysteries surround me."
1 Corinthians 15:1-8
"...if you hold fast to the word I preached to you, unless you believed in vain." Hold fast, to the Gospel, it is salvation.
"Last of all, as to one born abnormally, he appeared to me." Who appears? Jesus. Does He still? I say yes My Lord. Only, we fail to recognize Him.
Wouldn't you like to know how to recognize Him? Let's continue reading.
Pray: "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." Light to light. True God from true God. This is our creed. That we believe. That we have faith. That God is imparting Himself to us. And that we are asked to be one with Him. I teach. I don't touch those I teach, not physically. I don't even know who reads this. I am writing to thin air, to a computer. But, those who see me have to trust that they are seeing something real, and hearing something real. And even more faith, those reading this from a computer screen or mobile device. Faith is already in action.
In comes our Lord: "I AM the Way, the Truth, and the Life."
Philip then says "show us the Father and that will be enough!" DOH! Jesus just said He was everything, life itself! And Philip still asks for a sign, to see the Father, as if to say "yeah Jesus your Ok but we want to see more". This is it. This is all we get: a sign from Jonah. A person as the voice of God, a prophet, to ask us to repent and to turn to God the unseen, the great unknown. The other day, I had a religious experience. I walked outside as the sun was setting and the wind was fearsome, even last night a terrible gust tore off a huge branch from my huge elm tree and blocked my driveway. It was real heavy to move. I digress. As I stood in the blowing sands, I could feel God talking without a single word. The next day, I read about a child prodigy, Akiane, a self taught painter with visions of Christ, this a child born to atheists, or people that simply weren't believers. She said that people don't use words in Heaven. I must've experienced this. Because God was speaking "I can do the impossible". "If you only knew that I Am in the midst". God is all around. What is He? Who knows. Who is He? Jesus will show us. You could rightly spend an eternity with God and not fully know Him. This is mystery, this is the forever new. It's what keeps us going. The branch will now wither and die. It had been apparently weakened, rotting, one of those big holes trees get somehow, a void is developed (sinfulness) and this becomes the great weakness and future disconnect. This can teach us many things.
First of all: Remain in Him. Have no fear- means have faith.
Secondly, the branch had fell a few feet from where I had the religious experience. It would have blocked my way back into my house. This means, there is no turning back. Once a decision is made, then there is another decision to be made: commitment. This is lacking in our world. Couples shack up, don't get married. Couples, get engaged and don't get married. Couples get married and fail to make the ultimate commitment...to God. To fully involve God in every aspect of life.
Because He said I AM the LIFE.
He is the Life to be lived. When God commits, He goes all the way to the cross, and this is the intersection to Heaven; where the horizontal meets the vertical. A good stick figure of a person would shape us to be a cross without a head, until God is involved and becomes our Head for our Body, the Church.
Wouldn't it be sad that we would die and talk with God and ask "where were you the whole time?" And He replies bible scripture to you ""Have I been with you for so long a time and you still do not know me?"
Get to know God. Keep reading. Keep seeking. Keep loving. He talks with all His kids. He spends time with the kids that come to Him. If He has no physical body, it is ours that should come to Him, in the poor and the abandoned, and nowadays, that abandoned place is church. I asked for a student last night "does anyone know where the student is?" One replied "she is at the movies". And I had struggled yesterday to get the drink she wanted, the pizza I offered, and all for what? For someone to take her away from me, the teacher of God. In my heart I knew she wanted to be with us, she had been so excited for the pizza party, even asking others if she would see them in class. The sneaky red trouser one is good at distractions. Movies, sports, and work, and falsely says its "family time". No. We are a family in the Body of Christ. Church comes first. God comes first. It's the only thing keeping this body going. This is for you parents reading this. I'm tired of the excuses. My boy said his friend didn't go to church class last time because he "had to get a haircut". And the excuses go on and on. You got to look good for the world, but not for Christ? What He likes is a pure heart. A heart that loves Him. A heart that does not have 2 faces: One that says " i love you" and another that says "I don't need you".
There's too many like that in the world. If God is with us, it is a tremendous thing. It means our Father loves us. It means, He wants the children to be HIS. He wants all of humanity turned to Him, because at His place, His huge place awaits a room for each one. On the contrary, in hell, there is no room, the cells are tight and demons are enclosed as "cellees". What a horrible place to be, locked up with demons. And here we have God offering Himself totally every single day, in Holy Mass, and in the short line confessionals.
Take advantage of the opportunity to be Holy.
Take advantage of the first chance to say "Father, I love you Jesus."