Feast of Saints Philip and James, Apostles

“After that, he appeared to more than five hundred brothers at once, most of whom are still living, though some have fallen asleep.” (1 Corinthians 15:6.)

Saint Cyril of Jerusalem comments on this verse from the First Reading proclaimed at Mass today:

“He appeared to Cephas; and after that to the twelve.” So if you disbelieve one witness, you have twelve witnesses. “Then he was seen by more than five hundred people at once” — if they disbelieve the twelve, then listen to the five hundred. “After that he was seen by James,” his own brother and the first overseer of this [Jerusalem] diocese. Since so noteworthy a bishop was privileged to see the risen Christ, along with the other disciples, do not disbelieve. But you may say that his brother was a biased witness. So then he continues: “He was seen by me.” But who am I? I am Paul, his enemy! “I was formerly a persecutor” but now preach the good news of the resurrection.” (Catechetical Lectures, 14.)

O God, Who gladden us each year
with the feast day
of the Apostles Philip and James,
grant us, through their prayers,
a share in the Passion and Resurrection
of Your Only Begotten Son,
so that we may merit
to behold you for eternity.
Through our Lord Jesus Christ, Your Son,
Who lives and reigns with You
in the unity of the Holy Spirit,
one God, for ever and ever.

Glory to the Father
and to the Son
and to the Holy Spirit:
as it was in the beginning,
is now, and will be forever. Amen