Monday, May 3
Sts. Philip and James
1 Corinthians 15: 1-8
He appeared to me. (1 Corinthians 15:8)
We don’t know much about these two apostles, whose feast we celebrate today. We know that Philip came from Bethsaida, the hometown of Peter and Andrew. He appears a few times in the Gospels, such as when he leads Nathaniel to Jesus and when he asks Jesus to show them the Father (John 1:43- 46; 14:8). We know even less about St. James, son of Alphaeus. He is believed to have come from Cana and is sometimes called James the Lesser, to distinguish him from James, son of Zebedee. But we do know that both Philip and James saw the risen Jesus. Like St. Paul, in our first reading, they could say, “He appeared to me” (1 Corinthians 15:8).
For these early Christians, seeing Jesus risen from the dead made all the difference. His resurrection validated everything that Jesus had said and done during His ministry. Because Jesus rose, they were not afraid to face opposition, persecution, even martyrdom. They knew that death would not have the final word – not for Jesus and not for them.
But we live two thousand years after Jesus. How can we have this same confidence in the Lord and assurance of eternal life? As it did for Philip and James, it begins with an encounter with the risen Jesus.
Even now, Jesus is still “appearing” to people. We won’t see Him physically the way Philip and James did. And we probably won’t see a flashing light as Paul did (Acts 9:3). But we can know, deep within our hearts, that Jesus is real, that He is with us, that He is risen.
We will recognize His presence as He calms our hearts and fills us with peace. We will become convinced that He is risen as we experience Him helping us overcome habits of sin and teaching us to love our neighbours. We will be assured that He knows and loves us as He answers our prayers or reminds us of just the right Scripture passage to help us face our circumstances.
Jesus longs for every believer to say, “He appeared to me” (1 Corinthians 15:8). Today, let Him reveal Himself to you. “Jesus, help me to see You today.”
Daily Reflections from “The Word Among Us”
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No ownership is implied
Just As I Am – Travis Cortell – sung by Choir Masters Association Chennai, India
Up From the Grave He Arose – Voice of Eden (India)
Torah Celebration Songs