Today the church remembers Saint Philip and Saint James, Apostles.The apostle Philip was from Bethsaida and was one of the Twelve. He is mentioned in all four gospels and figures prominently in two episodes in the Lord’s ministry. In the first, the Feeding of the Five Thousand, Philip’s very practical nature shows through (see John 6:5-14). The other episode is the gospel lesson for this feast (see John 14:6-14). He should not be confused with Philip, Deacon and Evangelist, who is mentioned in the fifth and eighth chapters of Acts. James the Less, son of Alphaeus, was one of the Twelve also. He should not be confused with either James, the son of Zebedee (see July 25), or James, the Lord’s brother (see October 23). His agnomen “the less” may imply a small stature or youthfulness. He is mentioned only four times in Holy Scripture, and then briefly or in a list, so we know very little about him. Philip and James are little more than names to us today. One cannot imagine their being saddened by this fact, since this community and the Christ it knows lives on. “For what we preach is not ourselves, but Jesus Christ as Lord, with ourselves as your servants for Jesus’ sake” (2 Corinthians 4:5). Almighty God, who gave to your apostles Saint Philip and Saint James grace and strength fearlessly to bear testimony to the truth: Grant that we, being always mindful of their victory of faith, may learn like them to overcome the world, and glorify the Name of our Lord Jesus Christ. Amen.
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