Feast of Apostles
Philip and James
The Church gives us feasts for a reason, and it is not to eat a big feed! What have Philip and James to do with us today and what could they possibly have to say to us in the modern world? Actually James has quite a lot to say, if we read his letter in faith and humility.
But the feasts of the apostles remind us that we are part of the same ‘apostolic’ church that was founded by Jesus. He chose twelve men to go out and teach the nations; our faith is the result of that teaching. The apostles ordained the first priests and bishops and this line has continued right down to the present day.
All this helps us to understand and grasp the long history and tradition of our faith, its universal reach and the depth of our connection right back to Jesus, and it also teaches us the value of tradition.
We in Ireland know a lot about tradition. When we visit the great high crosses we visit places of prayer that have stood for well over a thousand years and everyone in our land can visit a place which has had a Christian presence for 1500 years.
Holy Mother Church gives us these feasts to bring back to mind that we are the heirs of the apostles and of Jesus and the connection is alive and real.
The feast also reminds us that we are part of the mystical body of Christ, something which transcends time and space and lives forever in this and the next world.