Philip & James, Apostles

1 May -- Festival -- Apostles -- Red

Philip and James appear in the list of the twelve apostles in the first three gospels but are frequently confused with other early saints who share their names. In John's gospel, Philip has a more prominent rôle, being the third of the apostles to be called by Jesus and then himself bringing his friend Nathanael to the Lord. Philip is the spokesman for the other apostles who are questioning the capacity for feeding the five thousand and, at the Last Supper, enters into a sort of dialogue with Jesus which leads to the Farewell Discourses of our Lord.

James is said to be the son of Alphæus and is often known as 'James the Less' to distinguish him. He may also be the 'James the Younger' who, in Mark's gospel, is a witness at the Crucifixion.

They are celebrated on the same day because the church in Rome, where their relics rest, was dedicated on this day in the year 560.

Collect

Almighty Father,
whom truly to know is eternal life:
teach us to know your Son Jesus Christ
as the way, the truth, and the life;
that we may follow the steps
   of your holy apostles Philip and James,
and walk steadfastly in the way that leads to your glory;
through Jesus Christ your Son our Lord,
who is alive and reigns with you,
in the unity of the Holy Spirit,
one God, now and for ever.

A reading from the prophecy of Isaiah.

Thus said the Lord God, the Holy One of Israel: In returning and rest you shall be saved; in quietness and in trust shall be your strength. But you refused and said, "No! We will flee upon horses" -- therefore you shall flee! and, "We will ride upon swift steeds" -- therefore your pursuers shall be swift! A thousand shall flee at the threat of one, at the threat of five you shall flee, until you are left like a flagstaff on the top of a mountain, like a signal on a hill. Therefore the Lord waits to be gracious to you; therefore he will rise up to show mercy to you. For the Lord is a God of justice; blessèd are all those who wait for him.

Truly, O people in Zion, inhabitants of Jerusalem, you shall weep no more. He will surely be gracious to you at the sound of your cry; when he hears it, he will answer you. Though the Lord may give you the bread of adversity and the water of affliction, yet your Teacher will not hide himself any more, but your eyes shall see your Teacher. And when you turn to the right or when you turn to the left, your ears shall hear a word behind you, saying, "This is the way; walk in it."

This is the word of the Lord.         Isaiah 30. 15-21

Responsorial Psalm

RIn returning and rest you shall be saved;
[in quietness and in trust shall be your strength].
Happy are they whose way is blameless,
who walk in the law of the Lord!
Happy are they who observe your decrees
and seek you with all their hearts. R

Happy are they who never do any wrong,
but always walk in your ways.
You laid down your commandments,
that we should fully keep them. R

O that my ways were made so direct
that I might keep your statutes!
Then I should not be put to shame,
when I regard all your commandments. R

I will thank you with an unfeigned heart,
when I have learned your righteous judgements.
I will keep your statutes;
do not utterly forsake me. R         From Psalm 119

A reading from the Letter of Paul to the Ephesians.

This is the reason that I, Paul, am a prisoner for Christ Jesus for the sake of you Gentiles -- for surely you have already heard of the commission of God's grace that was given me for you, and how the mystery was made known to me by revelation, as I wrote above in a few words, a reading of which will enable you to perceive my understanding of the mystery of Christ. In former generations this mystery was not made known to humankind, as it has now been revealed to his holy apostles and prophets by the Spirit: that is, the Gentiles have become fellow heirs, members of the same body, and sharers in the promise in Christ Jesus through the gospel.

Of this gospel I have become a servant according to the gift of God's grace that was given me by the working of his power. Although I am the very least of all the saints, this grace was given to me to bring to the Gentiles the news of the boundless riches of Christ, and to make everyone see what is the plan of the mystery hidden for ages in God who created all things; so that through the church the wisdom of God in its rich variety might now be made known to the rulers and authorities in the heavenly places.

This is the word of the Lord.         Ephesians 1. 3-10

Hear the gospel of our Lord Jesus Christ according to John.

Jesus said to his disciples, "Do not let your hearts be troubled. Believe in God, believe also in me. In my Father's house there are many dwelling places. If it were not so, would I have told you that I go to prepare a place for you? And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again and will take you to myself, so that where I am, there you may be also. And you know the way to the place where I am going." Thomas said to him, "Lord, we do not know where you are going. How can we know the way?" Jesus said to him, "I am the way, and the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me. If you know me, you will know my Father also. From now on you do know him and have seen him."

Philip said to him, "Lord, show us the Father, and we will be satisfied." Jesus said to him, "Have I been with you all this time, Philip, and you still do not know me? Whoever has seen me has seen the Father. How can you say, 'Show us the Father'? Do you not believe that I am in the Father and the Father is in me? The words that I say to you I do not speak on my own; but the Father who dwells in me does his works. Believe me that I am in the Father and the Father is in me; but if you do not, then believe me because of the works themselves. Very truly, I tell you, the one who believes in me will also do the works that I do and, in fact, will do greater works than these, because I am going to the Father. I will do whatever you ask in my name, so that the Father may be glorified in the Son. If in my name you ask me for anything, I will do it. "

This is the gospel of Christ.         John 14. 1-14

Post Communion

Lord God, the source of truth and love,
keep us faithful to the apostles' teaching and fellowship,
united in prayer and the breaking of bread,
and one in joy and simplicity of heart,
in Jesus Christ our Lord.