Feast of Saints Philip and James

Philip: Philip came from the same town as Peter and Andrew, Bethsaida in Galilee.  In the first chapter of John’s gospel we see Jesus calling him directly. After his calling he immediately began to lead others to Christ.

His character comes across in two incidents in the Gospel, one of which is described in the Gospel reading. After his own calling he went looking for his friend Nathanael and told him about the “one about whom Moses wrote” (John 1:43-45).  Philip comes across as someone who is rather innocent and naïve and it takes him some time to acknowledge what is going on.

Like the other apostles, Philip took a long time coming to realize who Jesus was. On one occasion, when Jesus saw the great multitude following him and wanted to give them food, he asked Philip where they should buy bread for the people to eat. Saint John comments, “[Jesus] said this to test him, because he himself knew what he was going to do” (Jn 6:6). Philip answered, “Two hundred days’ wages worth of food would not be enough for each of them to have a little [bit]” (Jn 6:7).

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