Posted by: frburke23 | May 2, 2013

Thought for May 3 – Feast of St. James & St. Philip

1 Corinthians 15:1-8

I am reminding you, brothers and sisters,

of the Gospel I preached to you,

which you indeed received and in which you also stand.

Through it you are also being saved,

if you hold fast to the word I preached to you,

unless you believed in vain.

For I handed on to you as of first importance what I also received:

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;

that he appeared to Cephas, then to the Twelve.

After that, he appeared to more

than five hundred brothers and sisters at once,

most of whom are still living,

though some have fallen asleep.

After that he appeared to James,

then to all the Apostles.

Last of all, as to one born abnormally,

he appeared to me.


Today the Church remembers St. Philip and St. James, two of the twelve that Jesus chose to be His apostles.  Not only did the Lord choose Philip and James to be His apostles, but he appeared to James (today’s reading) and the other apostles to inspire them to go out and spread the Good News of the resurrection.

In this letter to the Corinthians, St. Paul reviews with us the basics of the faith – Jesus died, was buried and was raised on the third day.  We need to go back to the basics in our culture.  We have gotten so far away from the Christian message.  We have generations that do not truly know Jesus Christ and His message.

Jesus appeared to many people after the resurrection, including James and the rest of the Apostles.  Why does St. Paul only name James in this reading?

James held a prominent role among the apostles.  He was taken to the mountain top for the transfiguration along with Peter and John.   James held a prominent place in the early Church as well in Jerusalem.  He wrote an epistle and converted many Jewish people to the faith.  He was martyred in the year 62.

Philip became a disciple of Christ after following John the Baptist for a while.  Once he met the Lord he knew he could follow no one else.

What can the lives of Philip and James mean to us today?  Are we truly following the Lord’s call in our lives?  Are we willing to say YES wherever He leads us?  Are we ready to share with others the joy of the resurrection?  Do I know my faith well enough to share it?  Do I know Jesus well enough to allow Him to shine within me?  May our lives proclaim the Good News of Jesus risen from the dead today and always.

God bless,

Fr. Burke



  1. Fr. Burke,
    I am confused about “James.”
    James son of Zebedee and bother to John,
    James the Greater, James the ‘brother’ of the Lord, writer of Book of James, first Apostle martyr, Santiago in Spain, Bishop of Jerusalem at Council of Jerusalem, James the Lesser…..
    Thank you!

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