1 Corinthians 15:1-8; Psalm 18(19):2-5; John 14:6-14
Philip was born at Bethsaida and started as a disciple of John the Baptist. After the Baptist’s death he followed Christ. James, a cousin of the Lord, was the son of Alphaeus. He ruled the Church at Jerusalem; wrote an epistle; led an austere life; and converted many Jews to the Faith. He was crowned with martyrdom in the year 62.
James and Philip were each powerful witnesses to the Lord, but they each needed his individual attention to bring them fully into his fold. James was one of the few to have a 1:1 meeting with the risen Lord - and we do not know what Jesus said to him. But from his letter we do know that he adopted much he same attitude to those with health and power as Jesus did - giving strong warnings to them to keep them from abusing their position. Philip was publicly taught by Jesus, along with the other apostles, that Jesus himself was the way to the Father, not just a messenger about the Father. Belief in Jesus is the same as belief in God.
We rightly celebrate today as a feast for these two men who met Jesus and brought his way and his Word to many.