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Archive for May 1st, 2020

COLLECT OF THE DAY

Almighty God, Your Son revealed Himself to Philip and James and gave them the knowledge of everlasting life. Grant us perfectly to know Your Son, Jesus Christ, to be the way, the truth, and the life, and steadfastly to walk in the way that leads to eternal life; through the same Jesus Christ, our Lord, who lives and reigns with You and the Holy Spirit, one God, now and forever.  Amen.

READINGS:  Isaiah 30:18-21  Psalm 36:5-12 (antiphon: v. 8) Ephesians 2: 19-22   St.John 14:1-14

“Lord, show us the Father.” Philip did not yet recognize that the Father is glorified in the Son. In His Name we have access to the Father, for they are one. Jesus is the way and the truth and the life; no one comes to the Father except through Him. And whoever believes in Him will do the works He does and greater (v. 6–13). And so Philip and James did, apostles on whose foundation the household of God is built—with Christ as her chief cornerstone (Eph. 2:19–22). The beloved Words of Jesus from today’s Gospel were the Words of their Teacher, echoing in their ears as they walked in His way (Isa. 30:20–21). And so their hearts were not troubled (John 14:1) as they ate the bread of adversity and the water of affliction (Isa. 30:19). Philip, who in John’s Gospel brings Jews and Greeks to Jesus, is said to have journeyed to Phrygia where he was martyred. James “the Younger” (son of Alphaeus, whose mother Mary was at the crucifixion) is said to have died by being sawn in half. Where Christ is, they also are, and so shall we be (John 14:3). From LCMS website

May 1 has been kept as the feast day of St. Philip and St. James since A.D. 561 when on that date the supposed remains of the two saints were interred in the Church of the Apostles in Rome. To counteract the effects of the twentieth-century dedication of May 1 to the working classes and socialism by Communism in Russia with their yearly massive military parades in Moscow on this date, Pope Pius XII made May 1 the Feast of St, Joseph the Worker, and shifted the feast of Philip and James to May 11. The new Roman calendar commemorates the two apostles on May 3. Lutherans and Anglicans have retained the traditional date. Adapted from Festivals and Commemorations by Rev. Philip Pfatteicher

Reflection:  

Today is May Day.  I think it was a celebration of  spring time, as in, dancing around the May pole.  I would dare say that is a distant cultural memory. But it was the Communists, especially in the Soviet Union that every year

Trump says he's 'thinking about' attending Russia's May Day parade ...
May Day in Moscow, Red Square

would observe May Day with displays of militarism in their official virulent atheism…an atheism by way that is becoming stronger in our day. Many secularists, experts, and the elite want to remove Christianity from the public square, and when that happens the State will become the Church (Neuhaus).  We see this now, during the wu-flu lock down, that the paternalism of the government, now morphing into the State, knows what’s best for us, and in many places has enforced draconian and senseless rules. Communism kills, Christ makes alive. The communists said that some almost apocalyptic event of the classless society would come but in all worldly ‘salvations’ it is by sheer use of force. It won’t be a utopia but a dystopia. The U. S. Constitution is right as it states that a goal of said document is in order, “…to form a more perfect union”, not a perfect union. Do not trust anyone who says we have or will have the perfect union on earth.  Communists thinks that and Stalin killed at least 20,000,000 of its own citizens, and the Chinese Communists have murdered between 35-45 million.  There is only one perfect union:  The Father and the Son in the unity of the Holy Spirit, one God, who saves sinners.  Communists, as all the self-righteous, don’t think they are sinners.

I admire the Roman Catholic Church’s noble efforts to fight the Communists’ co-opting of May Day by moving St. Joseph, the Worker to May 1st.  Communists hail the “worker” but only enslave workers to their own plans.  This traditional date for Philip and James is so understated, as is St. Joseph, and it’s meaning will undo virulent atheism with virtuous faith and love in the Savior as we have life in His Name alone.

What was the main deed  that Philip is remembered?  He brought people to Jesus.  That’s all…and that’s enough.  Communists, as in China, believe in salvation without God…as today’s secularists and atheists and only want people for their ends and if they can, get their souls.  For the Communists, salvation is achieved by the end of  a gun barrel. For the Church, salvation comes from Christ Jesus and His Cross.  For Communists, society is a collective with no individuality.  For Christians, life redeemed in Christ is a communion of saints, each person shining as individuals in the one light of His salvation, as Phillip and James.  For Communists, life is only materialism.  life is materialism and it’s the end all and be all which is soul-sucking idolatry, For the Church, life is life in the Holy Spirit, body and soul and all creation and its life eternal.   Life on our own terms. Life is in this world alone. Many want a Messiah to be, “…sovereign of the world. In reality, He was to become the Savior of the world.” (Luther)

Quietly, Philip told Nathaniel:  Philip found Nathanael and said to him, 

“We have found him of whom Moses in the Law and also the prophets wrote, Jesus of Nazareth, the son of Joseph.” 46 Nathanael said to him, “Can anything good come out of Nazareth?” Philip said to him, “Come and see.” 

Come and see…in a place of no importance in Biblical, world or cultural history till then, Nazareth.  Nathanael saw his Savior. Philip, James, Nathanael…no power players on the world’s stage but in the Kingdom, great indeed because they brought people to the Savior who loved them from the foundation of the world.  Jesus sent His apostles as itinerants into the world. This is still the way of Jesus Christ in the midst of the other false worldly saviors. And you might be part of someone’s divine blessedness with a simple invite to “Come and see”.

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