Updated: May 8, 2021
Saints Philip and James, Apostles 03 May 2021-Jn 14,6-14
To the Corinthians, Saint Paul said: “I taught you what I had been taught myself, namely that Christ died for our sins, in accordance with Scriptures” (1 Corinthians 15: 3).
The topic for our meditation is: Apostles and the teaching of the Gospel of Salvation
Today we celebrate the feast of Saint Philip and Saint James, apostles.
Philip, a disciple of John the Baptist, followed the call of Jesus Christ. James wrote one of the Epistles found in the Bible. Besides, he is one of the persons to whom the Risen Lord appeared in person (Cf. 1 Corinthians 15: 7).
No doubt, the Apostles believed in Jesus and by the grace of the resurrection, they were strengthened to proclaim the gospel of salvation to the Nations.
For all the times we lost faith in Jesus Christ and failed to proclaim the gospel of salvation, we turn now to the Lord and say: Lord, have mercy.
Meditation: Apostles and the teaching of the Gospel of Salvation
You will probably agree that one gives only what he/she has. In other words, no one cannot give what he/she does not have. So, if you want to give the gospel of salvation to the world you should be humble to receive it from the Saviour, Jesus Christ. Remember, to ignore the Holy Scriptures is to ignore Jesus Christ (Cf. Saint Jerome).
As Christians, we are called to become Apostles, people with the Gospel of salvation. Therefore, we should love and believe Jesus’ gospel so that we may be able to proclaim and teach it to the world. It will be hard for one to teach what he/she does not believe. And if he/she does teach, then he/she will teach it with no love at all.
Because he believed in Jesus Christ as the messiah Philip, one of the disciples of John the Baptist, was able to encourage others to follow Jesus and live his words. Scripture says, Philip found Nathanael and told him, “We have found the One Moses wrote about in the Law, the One the prophets foretold— Jesus of Nazareth, the son of Joseph” (John 1: 45).
Philip was convinced that Jesus Christ was the Christ. And he believed that the words of Jesus are “spirit and life.” He also believed that the one who receives Jesus’ words and lives according to their wisdom will be saved.
It is not surprising that Saint Paul, in his first letter to the Corinthians, says: “the gospel will save you only if you keep believing exactly what I preached to you – believing anything else will not lead to anything” (1 Corinthians 15: 2).
In life we need to take a stand on issues, most especially issues about faith and ethics; otherwise, we will be carried away by any kind of teaching. Scripture says: “Do not be carried away by all kinds of strange teachings” (Hebrew 13: 9). We should be firmly established in what we believe and share it with the world for the salvation of the entire creation.
Today many are confused by a lot of philosophies, a lot of ideologies. Each one of them claims to preach the gospel, good news, for a better life. As a result, some people are in dilemma and wonder which theory or teaching to follow and live.
It is unfortunate to realize that, in dilemma, some Christians do no longer refer to the Holy Scriptures for the nourishment of their spiritual life; they rather prefer to refer themselves to some philosophies or ideologies of certain popular persons.
Nowadays, popular secular ideologies seem to be more fascinating than the Holy Scriptures. With those ideologies, some define their faith and their modus vivendi. It seems that some passages of the Holy Bible are so challenging that some Christians fail in one way or another to accept them.
I personally think that unless one loves and believes in Jesus Christ, one will not be able to receive and live the Gospel of salvation with all its challenges. Besides, in Saint Paul’s perspective, I uphold that faith without love is just a noisy gong (Cf. 1 Corinthians 13: 1).
Saint James is right when he notes: “Show me your faith without deeds, and I will show you my faith by my deeds” (James 2: 18). Indeed, “If I have the gift of prophecy and can fathom all mysteries and all knowledge, and if I have absolute faith so as to move mountains, but have not to love, I am nothing” (1 Corinthians 13: 1).
One will boldly and effectively teach Jesus’ Gospel of salvation, only when he/she loves Jesus Christ and believes in him as the Lord and the Saviour of the world. True, Jesus came into the world so that the world may be saved (Cf. John 3: 17).
Love, believe, live and teach the Gospel of Jesus, that is the gospel of salvation and you will be saved.
By Fr Euloge KASINE a.a