Trailmen from OR-1531 took part in the 67th observance of the National Day of Prayer during the morning Mass at St. Joseph. It was fitting that today was the Feast of Saints Phillip and James, Apostles. The readings themselves emphasized the evangelical work of the Apostles in early Church that we continue as Trailmen. The first reading, from 1 Cor 15,
I am reminding you, brothers and sisters, of the Gospel I preached to you, which you indeed received and in which you also stand. Through it you are also being saved,
if you hold fast to the word I preached to you, unless you believed in vain. For I handed on to you as of first importance what I also received: that Christ died for our sins in accordance with the Scriptures; that he was buried; that he was raised on the third day in accordance with the Scriptures;
The Gospel reading, taken from John 14, instills in our Trailmen hope – confidence in the promises of Christ – that the Church continues to have authority and live in relationship with Jesus.
Jesus said to Thomas, “I am the way and the truth and the life.
No one comes to the Father except through me.
If you know me, then you will also know my Father.
From now on you do know him and have seen him.”
Philip said to him,
“Master, show us the Father, and that will be enough for us.”
Jesus said to him, “Have I been with you for so long a time
and you still do not know me, Philip?
Whoever has seen me has seen the Father.
How can you say, ‘Show us the Father’?
Do you not believe that I am in the Father and the Father is in me?
The words that I speak to you I do not speak on my own.
The Father who dwells in me is doing his works.
Believe me that I am in the Father and the Father is in me,
or else, believe because of the works themselves.
Amen, amen, I say to you,
whoever believes in me will do the works that I do,
and will do greater ones than these,
because I am going to the Father.
And whatever you ask in my name, I will do,
so that the Father may be glorified in the Son.
If you ask anything of me in my name, I will do it.”
It was Saint Phillip, during the Last Supper, whose questions presented Jesus with the opportunity to explain the unity of the Father and Son. According to tradition he preached in Greece and was crucified upside down at Hierapolis under Emperor Domitian. Saint James was a cousin of Jesus, wrote the epistle James, and was the bishop of Jerusalem during the first Church Council described in Acts. St. Paul called him a “pillar” of the Church. Tradition says he was thrown off the Temple and stoned for his faith. These saints, and the scriptures from today’s readings, should strengthen the resolve of all Trailmen to live the Oath – to serve God and my Country.