Scripture: 1st Reading: 1Cor15,1-8; Resp. Psalm: Ps19,2-5; Gosp. Accl.: Jn14,6,9; Gospel: Jn14,6-14
The word of God today teaches us three important things to do with the good news that is preached to us. The first is to receive the gospel, that is, the good news of salvation. The second is to stand by the gospel received, that is, live one's life by the ideals and tenets the gospel proposes.
As a consequence, the word tells us that we shall be saved by the gospel of salvation. In other words, the good news has an end, a reward that is given for fidelity to keeping it. That reward is the salvation of one's soul. That salvation comes if one holds fast to the good news.
The content of the good news of salvation is not in any way complex or complicated. It is centred on one Person, Jesus Christ the Lord. The good news that brings salvation when it is believed is this: Christ the Lord died for our sins, was buried, was raised on the third day, and appeared to the twelve Apostles and those believers who have been chosen by divine providence.
The content of that good news is that the plans of the heart of man to scuttle the designs of God came to naught. The good news is that the travails of the Lord Jesus was part of the plans of the Father to save mankind from eternal death. The good news is that those who come to faith in those events receive eternal life for ever in heaven.
This is especially so because the Lord Himself has assured us that He is the way and the truth and the life. He has assured us and made it clear that no one comes to the Father but by Him. To know Him is to know the Father also. This is because He is in the Father and the Father is in Him. Our Lord spoke on the authority and with the power of the Father who was in Him.
In His reply to Philip whose feast we celebrate today, our Lord declared further: "Truly, truly, I say to you, he who believes in me will also do the works that I do; and greater works than these will he do, because I go to the Father. Whatever you ask in my name, I will do it, that the Father may be glorified in the Son; if you ask anything in my name, I will do it."
The Apostles Philip and James believed in and lived by these words of promise from the Lord. They gave their whole lives into the "project" of the Lord. They held on to His word as they took the good news they had received to the nations and made disciples for the Lord. They believed that the Father would grant whatever they asked in the name of the Son. They put this faith to action in their Apostolic teaching and practise.
We are the inheritors of the mandate. We are the "apostles", that is, the people sent to our own generation. The harvest of souls is rich even in our own times. Our generation is full of deception. The gospel of Christ has become so materialized that it has almost become synonymous with riches and prosperity.
Many souls are thus led astray because many who pretend to preach the gospel preach their own brand of the gospel. This is why even with the preaching, many hearts and souls are led astray and there is in the human heart that great longing for truth, righteousness, godliness, holiness, submission to the word of God.
The example of these simple, almost "unseen" Apostles of the Lord who worked in obscurity, demonstrate to us the need to hold on to the true faith handed down to us by the Apostles, live by it and die in it. May Saints Philip and James pray for us. May God grant us the grace to give our time, talents, endowments, resources, our very selves and our lives for the sake of the good news of salvation.
Let us pray: "O God, who gladden us each year with the feast day of the Apostles Philip and James, grant us, through their prayers, a share in the Passion and Resurrection of your Only-Begotten Son, so that we may merit to behold you for eternity." Amen.
May the Living Word of God find a true dwelling place within our hearts and souls today and always.