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Tuesday, May 3, 2016

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Sts. Philip & James


1 Corinthians 15:1-8
Psalm 19:2-5
John 14:6-14

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"i wish to know christ" (phil 3:10)

" 'Philip,' Jesus replied, 'after I have been with you all this time, you still do not know Me?' " —John 14:9

The apostle Philip lived, ate, drank, slept, and traveled with Jesus. After three years, Jesus had to conclude that Philip still did not know Him (Jn 14:9).

After three similar years, the apostle Peter admitted this same fact. Peter looked at Jesus standing bound and accused from across the courtyard and said: "I do not even know the Man!" (Mt 26:74) While it is true that Peter spoke words of cowardice, it's also important to realize that Peter really didn't know Jesus. He knew Jesus as Teacher, Master, and Miracle-Worker, but Peter did not know Jesus, the Suffering-Servant.

If the apostles didn't know Him, then how can we know Him? "The way we can be sure of our knowledge of Him is to keep His commandments" (1 Jn 2:3). If we tell ourselves, " 'I have known Him,' without keeping His commandments," we are self-deceived (1 Jn 2:4).

We need to know His commandments in order to obey them. Consequently, we need to spend time reading His Word and making it our home (Jn 8:31). In the words of St. Jerome: "Ignorance of the Scriptures is ignorance of Christ" (Catechism, 133).

We will one day find ourselves telling Jesus all the ways in which we knew Him (Mt 7:22; Lk 13:26). Yet if we did not show that we have known Jesus by keeping His commandments, His assessment of us will be: "I never knew You" (Mt 7:23).

Prayer:  Jesus, I wish to know You, Your Word, the power flowing from Your Resurrection, and how to share in Your sufferings by being formed into the pattern of Your death (Phil 3:10).

Promise:  Jesus "rose on the third day...He was seen by Cephas, then by the Twelve." —1 Cor 15:4-5

Praise:  Because of his faithfulness, St. James was one of the first to encounter the risen Jesus.

Reference:  (This teaching was submitted by a member of our editorial team.)

Rescript:  †Most Reverend Joseph R. Binzer, Auxiliary Bishop, Vicar General of the Archdiocese of Cincinnati, November 6, 2015

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