Thursday, May 3, 2012

Philip and James

     Jesus said to Thomas, "I am the way and the truth and the life.  No one comes to the Father except through me."  In the first letter to the people of Corinth, Paul says "I am reminding you, brothers and sisters, of the gospel I preached to you, which you indeed received and in which you also stand.  Through it you are also being saved, if you hold fast to the word I preached to you ...".  Today the Church honors two great leaders of the Church and preachers of the gospel message of truth - Philip and James.  We are reminded of the truths spoken by Paul and by Jesus in the readings of the day.

     I hinted at an earlier post that I find the message of the gospel pretty much ignored by the world in which we live, trivialized by our lack of understanding and commitment to it, and relegated to the periphery of our lives.  How the world reacts to the message of the gospel is not within our control.  However, our proclamation of the gospel is, and must come from our passionate belief that these truths are the key to happiness, salvation and every other good.  And not only for ourselves, but for the entire world that God created.  We are entrusted with those truths not as a private, personal treasure to possess, but as a vital gift from God to share with everyone who desires life and happiness.  It is a remedy for all time, for our time.

     Like James with the Church in Jerusalem and Philip in his travels, and Paul to Corinth and Jesus to the Twelve, if we truly understand the gospel as having the answers for our time, we cannot keep it to ourselves.  To remain silent or allow ourselves to be marginalized would be sinful and selfish.  It takes great courage, great guts, to bring that truth to life through word and action in our lives.  May God strength our courage and resolve.

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