“Very truly, I tell you, the one who believes in me will also do the works that I do and, in fact, will do greater works than these, because I am going to the Father. If in my name you ask me for anything, I will do it.” (John 14:12-14)
Today we celebrate Saints Philip and James, two of the twelve apostles. In reflecting on their lives, we come to the realization that God does not call the qualified but qualifies those who make themselves available. In other words, when it comes to witnessing for Jesus Christ, there is no need for anyone to look down on himself.
None of the twelve apostles was a perfect human being. For instance, in today’s Gospel passage, Jesus asked Philip: “Have I been with you so long and yet you do not know me?” Philip ate and drank with Jesus for three years and still, he did not know that Jesus is God. Philip did not know that to have seen Jesus is to have seen God. Yet, Jesus did not give him immediate dismissal from the college of apostles.
Like Philip and James, we are called to put our imperfections behind us and allow the Holy Spirit to use us. It will not be by your own ability but by the grace of God. Jesus himself says: “Whatever you ask in my name, I will do it that the Father may be glorified in the Son.”
In today’s first reading, St. Paul speaks of the various apparitions of Jesus Christ after His resurrection from the dead. St. Paul is convinced that Jesus followed a hierarchy of importance in choosing who to appear to. First, Jesus appeared to Peter, then to the twelve, then to a group of about five thousand believers before appearing to James, and last, of all, Jesus appeared to Paul.
The very fact that Jesus chose to appear to James personally is a testament to his importance in the college of apostles. As we celebrate St. Philip and James today, we pray that God will continue to inspire labourers for His vineyard.
Let us pray: Lord Jesus, help me to think less of myself and more of you in responding to your call. Amen
Bible Study: 1 Cor. 15:1-8, Ps. 19:2-5, John 14:6-14)
© Rev. Fr. Evaristus Abu