SS. James and Philip, Apostles| Daily Meditation| Daily Quote by S. Padre Pio| Divine Mercy Reflection
SS. James and Philip, Apostles
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. St. 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’ 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’ 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.
“He sent them...so that as sharers in his power they might make all peoples his disciples, sanctifying and governing them.... They were fully confirmed in this mission on the day of Pentecost (cf. Acts 2: 1–26) in accordance with the Lord’s promise: ‘You shall receive power when the Holy Spirit comes upon you, and you shall be witnesses for me...even to the very ends of the earth’ (Acts 1:8). By everywhere preaching the gospel (cf. Mark 16:20), which was accepted by their hearers under the influence of the Holy Spirit, the apostles gathered together the universal Church, which the Lord established on the apostles and built upon blessed Peter, their chief, Christ Jesus himself remaining the supreme cornerstone...” (Vatican II, Dogmatic Constitution on the Church, 19).
Patron Saint of:
Renew Your Faith:
Renew your faith in the Christine doctrine, especially at times of conflict.
Quote by S. Padre Pio:
Holiness means loving our neighbor as ourselves for the love of God.
Divine Mercy Reflection
Reflections on Notebook Two: 112-188
We now enter into Notebook Two of the six notebooks that make up the Diary of Saint Faustina. The reason for having more than one notebook is simply that when one notebook was filled by Saint Faustina she began with a new one. Therefore, there is nothing particularly different from one notebook to the other. However, for the purpose of this current book of daily reflections, each reflection will begin to be lengthened, starting here with Notebook Two, so as to help you, the reader, enter more deeply into the beautiful mysteries of faith and our shared spiritual life that have been revealed in these writings of Saint Faustina.
You are invited once again to take one reflection each day and to ponder it throughout the day. Try to pray the prayer for each reflection each morning, noon and evening. Allow each mystery reflected upon to become a source of wisdom and understanding for you.
Reflection 131: The Great Work of Small Sacrifices
Is it better to do great works, or small sacrifices? It’s easy to conclude that some great work for God is far better than any small sacrifice. But is it? That all depends upon the Will of God. Sometimes we take on some “great work” for God but, in the end, it’s not part of His plan. A work is great only when it is done because God inspired it and remains the one leading it. Conversely, if God inspires a very small sacrifice on your part and you accept it and live it, then you can be assured that this small sacrifice will do more good for the salvation of souls than any other sacrifice you could ever dream up on your own. In fact, trying to force the Will of God to conform to your own will, inevitably, does more damage for the Kingdom of God than good, even if your idea seems holy (See Diary #639).
What is it that God is inspiring you to do? How are you called to serve His holy Will? Look for His inspiration in the smallest of things. It may be a kind word spoken to another, or a small hidden sacrifice that only you are aware of. And if He is calling you to do something “great” that others will notice, do not be afraid of this, but do not be overly proud of it either. Do all things, great or small, in accord with the Will of God and you will find that all things you do are truly great!
Lord, I believe that greatness is found only in Your holy Will. Help me to set aside my own ideas and agendas so that I may seek only that which is in Your perfect Heart. Help me to humbly embrace every small sacrifice You ask of me, and to have courage to do those things which seem to be beyond my ability. May I listen to You and respond generously to whatever You say. Jesus, I trust in You.