Scripture: 1st Reading: 1Cor15,1-8; Resp. Psalm: Ps19,2-5; Gosp. Accl.: Jn14,6,9; Gospel: Jn14,6-14
The primacy of the gospel of Jesus Christ. The abounding truth of the word of God that our Lord came to earth to reveal. The command to obedience that the word imposes on every believer in the name of Jesus. The fact that every one to whom this word of life has been preached and who receives it, should stand by it, hold fast to it and be saved by it. The overriding need to shape our lives and conduct by the dictates of the word we read and live by it. This essentially is what it means to make the word the fundamental basis of our lives and conduct.
The lives of the Apostles give us ample testimony of their unflinching devotion to the word of God. For them, the word was life. They believed in it, lived by it, died in defence of it. They preached it in season and out of season. They brought hearts and souls into submission under the lordship of Jesus, the Risen Lord. They preached, like Paul the Apostle, that "Christ died for our sins in accordance with the scriptures, that He was buried, that He was raised on the third day in accordance with the Scriptures."
The Risen Lord to confirm their faith in Him and demonstrate the fulfilment of scriptures in His person, appeared to all the Apostles and finally to Paul Himself. This formed part of the primitive and original teaching of the Apostles after the Resurrection of Jesus from the dead and His ascension to the right hand of His Father.
The Apostles preached what they learnt from the Lord. But more importantly, the lived that teaching and showed to others how to do it. In today's Gospel, He revealed Himself as the way, and the truth, and the life. He categorically stated that no one comes to the Father but by Him. To have known Him is to have known the Father because He is in the Father and the Father is in Him. Because of this, He did great works in the name of His Father and those works bore Him testimony that He came from the Father.
The lives of Saints Philip and James bore eloquent testimony to their faith I'm Christ. They were among the twelve apostles of our Lord. Philip, who was from Bethsaida and a disciple of John the Baptist, was one of the first to be called by our Lord. He responded generously to that call and have his entire life into it. James, the son of Alphaeus and our Lord's cousin, was called by our Lord too and responded with uncommon passion and commitment. He became the Bishop of the Church in Jerusalem, guided that Church through the initial years after our Lord's resurrection, and died a martyr's death.
We are called daily, especially during this Easter season, to contemplate the lives of these gallant witnesses of the faith. We are called to imitate their virtues and way of life. May God grant us the grace to live our lives for Him. May Saints Philip and James intercede for us.
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. Rev. Fr. Anthony Igbekele