Monday of the Fifth Week of Easter
FEAST ST. PHIILIP and JAMES-Finding of the HOLY CROSS
Judges, Chapter 6, Verse 24-27
24So Gideon built there an altar to the Lord and called it Yahweh-shalom. To this day it is still in Ophrah of the Abiezrites. 25That same night the LORD said to him: Take your father’s bull, the bull fattened for seven years, and pull down your father’s altar to Baal. As for the asherah beside it, cut it down 26and build an altar to the Lord, your God, on top of this stronghold with the pile of wood. Then take the fattened bull and offer it as a whole-burnt sacrifice on the wood from the asherah you have cut down. 27So, Gideon took ten of his servants and did as the LORD had commanded him. But he was too AFRAID of his family and of the townspeople to do it by day; he did it at night.
Heed the words of Saint John Paul the Great:
"Do not be overcome by evil, but overcome evil with good" (12:21). Evil is never defeated by evil; once that road is taken, rather than defeating evil, one will instead be defeated by evil.
Peace is the outcome of a long and demanding battle which is only won when evil is defeated by good. Flee what is evil and hold fast to what is good (cf. Rom 12:9). Peace is a good to be promoted with good: it is a good for individuals, for families, for nations and for all humanity; yet it is one which needs to be maintained and fostered by decisions and actions inspired by good. "Repay no one evil for evil" (Rom 12:17). The one way out of the vicious circle of requiting evil for evil is "Do not be overcome by evil, but overcome evil with good" (Rom 12:21). At its deepest level, evil is a tragic rejection of the demands of love. Moral good, on the other hand, is born of love, shows itself as love and is directed towards love. All this is particularly evident to Christians, who know that their membership in the one mystical Body of Christ sets them in a particular relationship not only with the Lord but also with their brothers and sisters. The inner logic of Christian love, which in the Gospel is the living source of moral goodness, leads even to the love of one's enemies: "If your enemy is hungry, feed him; if he is thirsty, give him something to drink" (Rom 12:20).
PHILIP, born at Bethsaida, was one of the first followers of Our Lord. After receiving the Holy Ghost he preached the Gospel in Scythia and Phrygia (Turkey, Syria and Iran), converting great numbers to the faith, and was finally crucified and then stoned at Hierapolis, in Phrygia.
JAMES, the son of Cleophas, called the Less, and on account of his sanctity surnamed the Just, and for his kinship with Christ known as His brother, was, with his brother Judas Thaddeus, chosen an apostle in the second year of Christ’s ministry. St. James was the first Bishop of Jerusalem. One day, being requested to preach against Christ, he publicly proclaimed Him to be the Messiah, in Whom men were bound to believe, at which the Jewish priests became so enraged that they threw him down from a pinnacle of the temple, cast stones upon him, and finally killed him outright with a fuller’s rod (tool used in wool making)
The Introit of the Mass is as follows: "In the time of their tribulation they cried to Thee, O Lord, and Thou heardest them from heaven. Rejoice in the Lord, ye just; praise becometh the upright."
O God, Who givest us joy by the annual solemnity of Thy apostles Philip and James, grant, we beseech Thee, that we may be instructed by the example of those in whose merits we rejoice. Amen
EPISTLE. Wis. v. 1-5.
The just shall stand with great constancy against those that have afflicted them, and taken away their labors. These seeing it, shall be troubled with terrible fear, and shall be amazed at the suddenness of their unexpected salvation, saying within themselves, repenting, and groaning for anguish of spirit: These are they whom we had some time in derision, and for a parable of reproach. We fools esteemed their life madness, and their end without honor. Behold how they are numbered among the children of God, and their lot is among the saints.
GOSPEL. John xiv. 1-13.
At that time Jesus said to His disciples: Let not your ear be troubled. You believe in God, believe also in Me. In My Father’s house there are many mansions. If not, I would have told you, that I go to prepare a place for you. And if I shall go, and prepare a place for you: I will come again, and will take you to Myself, that where I am, you also may be. And whither I go you know, and the way you know. Thomas saith to Him: Lord, we know not whither Thou goest; and how can we know the way? Jesus saith to him: I am the way, and the truth, and the life. No man cometh to the Father but by Me. If you had known Me, you would without doubt have known My Father also: and from henceforth you shall know Him, and you have seen Him. Philip saith to Him: Lord, show us the Father, and it is enough for us. Jesus saith to him: So long a time have I been with you, and have you not known Me? Philip, he that seeth Me seeth the Father also. How sayest thou, show us the Father? Do you not believe that I am in the Father, and the Father in Me? The words that I speak to you, I speak not of Myself. But the Father Who abideth in Me, He doth the works. Believe you not that I am in the Father, and the Father in Me? Otherwise believe for the very works sake. Amen, amen, I say to you, he that believeth in Me, the works that I do he also shall do, and greater than these shall he do because I go to the Father. And whatsoever you shall ask the Father in My name, that will I do.
Why did Jesus say to His disciples, " Let not your heart be troubled"?
He said this in order to console them beforehand, so that they might not be downcast, or waver in their faith, in case the predicted tribulations should actually come upon Him and them. Thus, it is that God never fails to comfort those who suffer persecution for His sake.
What is meant by the words, " I am the way, the truth, and the life"?
St. Bernard says Christ is the way, in His holy doctrine and example, in following which we cannot go astray. He is the truth, in the fulfilment of the prophecies, in His mysteries, in His promises and threatening’s, in His Gospel, and in His Church, for, as God, He cannot err, neither can He lie or deceive. Finally, He is the life, in that, through His death, He has gained for us the life of grace and glory.
Why did Christ say to Philip, He that seeth Me seeth the Father also"?
Because, although different from the Father in person, yet in nature and substance He is equal to Him. Christ accordingly adds that He is in the Father, and the Father in Him.
Prayer to St. Philip.
O St. Philip, chosen disciple of the Lord, who brought Nathaniel to Christ, who most zealously preached thy Lord, Jesus Christ, and out of love to Him willingly gave thyself to be nailed to the cross, and put to death, obtain, I beseech thee, for me, and for all men, grace with zeal to bring others to the practice of good works, to have a great desire after God and His truths, and, in hope of the eternal blissful contemplation of God, to bear patiently the adversities and miseries of this life. Amen.
Prayer to St. James.
O St. James, who lived so temperately and strictly, who, like thy master, prayed so earnestly and constantly for thy tormentors, I beseech thee that thou wouldst procure us from Jesus’ grace, after thy example, to live sober and penitential lives, and to worship God in spirit and in truth. Obtain for us, therefore, the spirit with which thou didst write thine epistle, that we may follow thy doctrine, be diligent in good works, and, like thee, love and pray for our enemies. Amen.
St James TL / St Philip Facts & Quotes
· The mother of St James, Mary was either a sister or a close relative of the Blessed Virgin Mary, and for that reason, according to Jewish custom, he was sometimes called the brother of Jesus.
· In the Orthodox Church, St. James is commemorated on October 22. St. Philip is revered on November 14.
· The Roman Catholic feast day of St. Philip and St. James, Apostles, is held May 3. It honors James, traditionally considered to be the brother of Jesus, and Philip, considered by scripture to be one of Jesus' earliest disciples (John: 1:43).
· Philip teaches us ... to let ourselves be won over by Jesus, to be with him and also to invite others to share in this indispensable company; and in seeing, finding God, to find true life. - St. Benedict XVI
St James TL/St Philip Top Events and Things to Do
· Read the Epistle of James. This is a letter that addresses several problems occurring in the early church involving the rich, lack of humility, and other issues.
· Read the first chapter of the Gospel of John. Philip invites others to come and see what Jesus was teaching, a common theme in the Gospel of John.
· Bake a pastry in honor of St. Philip since he is the patron saint of bakers.
· Say a prayer for the dying in honor of St. James, who is the patron saint of those living their last days of mortal life.
Feast of the Finding of the Holy Cross
Why is this day so called?
Because on this day the Church celebrates the finding by St. Helena, mother of the Emperor Constantine, of the cross on which Christ died, after it had been for a long time lost.
Where had the holy cross been up to the time that it was thus found again?
At Jerusalem, near the holy sepulcher, hidden under a mass of rubbish. For the Emperor Adrian endeavored not only to desecrate the holy places of the death and burial of Jesus Christ, but also to hide the very knowledge of them. The cave of the holy sepulcher was filled up, and by the erection of a temple of Venus, built over the spot, came to be quite lost sight of.
O God, "Who, in the miraculous finding of the saving cross, didst revive the miracles of Thy passion, grant that, by the ransom paid on the wood of life, we may obtain the suffrages of life eternal. Amen
Salutation of the Church to the Holy Cross.
O glorious and venerable cross! O precious wood! O wonderful sign, by which sin, the devil, and hell were overcome, and the world redeemed through the blood of Christ, thou art exalted above all the cedars of the forest, for on thee hung the life of the world! On thee Christ gained the victory, and by His dying overcame death forever. Alleluia. O Lord Jesus Christ, we adore and bless Thee; for through Thy cross Thou hast redeemed the world.
ON THE SIGN OF THE CROSS.
Why do we sign ourselves with the sign of the cross?
1. To testify that we are Christians and worshippers of the Crucified.
2. To profess our faith in the Most Holy Trinity.
3. In honor and thankful remembrance of the sufferings and death of Christ.
4. In order to overcome the devil and his temptations, inasmuch as he is by nothing more easily driven away than by the sign of the cross.
Is it an old custom to make the sign of the cross?
The earliest fathers of the Church make mention of this custom, and say that it came to them from the apostles; nay, they charge Christians to make the sign of the cross at eating and drinking, at walking and rising, at sitting and speaking, and, in a word, before every undertaking.
Why do the priests at divine service make the sign of the cross over the people?
That therewith there may be imparted to Christians the abundant blessing of grace which Christ has obtained for us by His cross, as St. Paul says, Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, Who hath blessed us with spiritual blessings in heavenly places in Christ" (Eph. i. 3). This custom is of great antiquity in the Church. The Council of Agde, for example, in the year 506, directed that after prayers the people should be dismissed by the priest with a blessing
· Eat waffles and Pray for the assistance of the Angels
· Monday: Litany of Humility