‘Now let us celebrate the Mass, directed by Philip and James. During the Fore-Mass they are our guides, readying us for the Sacrifice proper.
…In the Gospel [St John 14:1-13] we see the two apostles [Philip and James] with Christ between them. What a beautiful setting Easter time gives to the farewell sermons of Jesus! He is taking leave of His Church before ascending to heaven. He speaks softly, consolingly. Surely He will return; He leaves simply to prepare a place for us, then He will come to take us with Him so that we too may be where He is. In the midst of earthly troubles we need not be sad; we have a home in heaven. He Himself is readying it.
Jesus set the goal, He also showed the way. Disturbed and saddened, the apostles acted as if they knew neither the goal nor the way. With indulgent kindness Jesus said: I am the Way and, therefore, the Truth and the Life likewise. A lesson of tremendous importance! He is the focal point of our religious life, and consequently the only Way to heaven. Therefore we love to come to Mass where as the Way He gives instruction and commands, where as the Truth He speaks the Gospel message, and where as the Life He gives us His very Body in the blessed Eucharist.
…The sermon is over, our preachers are finished; these many truths are their legacy to us. Now we continue with the Sacrifice of Christ. It is also our sacrifice, we must offer it with Him. Therefore in solemn procession we approach the altar, led by our two apostles. There upon the altar they place the sum and substance of lives lived to the full – their joy, their sorrow, their labour for souls. And like an eagle enticing its young to fly into the light of the sun, so the two apostles invite us to unite our life’s sacrifices to theirs and offer all to the Father in union with Christ’s supreme oblation.
The two apostles have completed their task. Now they reverently withdraw. They take a position before the Lamb that was slain and yet lives, and offer the Mass with us. In Christ we constitute one great body – the faithful, the apostles, the saints – Christ’s mystical Body’.
from The Church’s Year of Grace, 1953, by Pius Parsch, 1884-1954
O Almighty God, whom truly to know is everlasting life: grant us perfectly to know thy Son Jesus Christ to be the way, the truth and the life; that, following the steps of thy holy Apostles Saint Philip and Saint James, we may steadfastly walk in the way that leadeth to eternal life; through the same Jesus Christ thy Son our Lord, who liveth and reigneth with thee, in the unity of the Holy Ghost, ever one God, world without end. Amen. - Divine Worship: The Missal.
Fr Lee Kenyon