St. James is listed in the Gospels because the son of Alphaeus; he had been sometimes known as St. James “that the Lesser,” to distinguish him out of St. James “that the Greater,” who was also an Apostle and was also the brother of St. John.
St. Jude was also an Apostle, and their mother Mary had been a close relative of the Arab; because of this, James was sometimes known as the brother (cousin) of the Lord. Maybe because of his relationship to Jesus, James had a significant role in the early Church, being considered the first bishop of Jerusalem; he had been martyred about the year 62.
St. Philip came from Bethsaida in Galilee, which was also the hometown of Peter and his brother Andrew. After being called as an Apostle by Jesus, Philip subsequently sought out Nathanael, describing Jesus as “the One of Whom Moses spoke” (John 1:43-49). At the Last week it was Philip who asked Jesus to show them the Father (John 14:8-9); he like the other disciples, was slow to understand the union between God the Father and also the Christ. According to a early Church legend, Philip preached the gospel in Phrygia (in modern-day Turkey), where he might have endured martyrdom.
1. When somebody commended Mary for her maternal relationship to Jesus, He responded, “Rather, blessed are those who hear the word of God and keep it” (Luke 11:28). St. James’ holiness came not from being connected to Jesus in a biological way, but in a spiritual — and this is a relationship our Lord provides to each one of His followers.
2. Upon meeting Jesus, St. Philip’s first impulse was to discuss the news for his friend Nathanael. Philip’s case reminds us, as good news, the gospel is supposed to be shared with all other people; each Christian is called to evangelize in one way or another.
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By Johnnette Benkovic’s Graceful Living : Meditations to Assist You Grow Closer to God Day by Day
Just how great a forest is set ablaze by a small fire! And the tongue is a fire. The tongue is an unrighteous world among our members, staining the whole body, setting on fire the cycle of nature.
— James 3:5–6
Perhaps you have began “flames” of gossip among my family and friends by failing to restrain my tongue? I will resolve to consider my words more deeply, for my interest and others’
Other Saints We Remember Today
St. Alexander, Pope, also Sts. Eventius and Theodulus (119), Martyrs
St. Juvenal (376), Bishop
Finding of the Holy Cross