The WORD in Other Words by Fr Felmar Castrodes Fiel SVD (Philippines)
Friday Week 2 Easter
1 Corinthians 15:1-8
Today we celebrate the feast of the apostles Philip and James, the same day their relics were brought to Rome. James died during Emperor Nero‘s time. While preaching about the death and resurrection of Christ atop a wall in Jerusalem, soldiers threw him off. Philip was martyred — crucified upside down — in Greece during the reign of Emperor Domitian.
Today‘s gospel features Philip. In John 14:1, Jesus was telling his apostles not to be troubled but to have trust in God and in Him. Philip, somewhat slow in understanding, was honest enough to ask Jesus to show them the Father. Jesus gently told him that He was the embodiment of the Father. Philip had been with Jesus all the time but there were things he did not fully understand.
In some instances of our life, we are like Philip. We pray and cultivate devotion to the Word of God, but are still beset by many questions and even unbelief. We look for signs to further convince us.
Someone once told me: “The doctor said that my husband with cancer would have only two years to live. However, he lived for five more years. Was it God‘s will or simply the medicine?”
When His closest friends failed to understand him, Jesus never tired explaining repeatedly until they got the message. Jesus didn’t lose patience with those whom He loved. We have seen God‘s patience through the centuries. He was patient with Peter, Paul, and with many countless others who relied on his mercy. Peter beautifully puts it: “He is patient with you, not wanting anyone to perish, but everyone to come to repentance. (2 Peter 3:9)