Philip and James were two of Jesus’ 12 Apostles, his first and closest followers, who traveled and ministered with him in life and spread the good news after his Resurrection. This is James “the Lesser” of the two Apostles of that name; it is difficult to distinguish between several “James” in the Gospels and Acts. Philip was from Bethsaida, the same town as Simon Peter and Andrew, and was introduced to Jesus by them. He is named in the Gospels as the fifth Apostle. Tradition holds that Philip preached the Gospel in Greece, Syria, and Phyrgia, and that James preached in Egypt. Both were early martyrs for their faith. Their feast day is May 3.
“Jesus said to him, ‘Have I been with you so long a time and you still do not know me, Philip? Whoever has seen me has seen the Father.” (John 14:9)
Questions for Reflection:
- What do you imagine it was about Jesus that drew his apostles, his closest companions, to abandon their ordinary lives and follow him?
- How do you imagine their understanding of Jesus to have grown and evolved over the time they spent living with him?
- What draws you to Christ? How have you grown to know him more deeply?