Saints Philip and James, apostles - Feast
Commentary of the day
Apostolic Exhortation « Evangelii Gaudium / The Joy of the Gospel» §180-181 (trans. © copyright Libreria Editrice Vaticana)
Saints Philip et James, apostles sent out to proclaim the Kingdom of God to the whole world
Reading the Scriptures makes it clear that the Gospel is not merely about our personal relationship with God... The Gospel is about the kingdom of God (Lk 4,43); it is about loving God who reigns in our world. To the extent that he reigns within us, the life of society will be a setting for universal fraternity, justice, peace and dignity. Both Christian preaching and life, then, are meant to have an impact on society. We are seeking God’s kingdom: “Seek first God’s kingdom and his righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well” (Mt 6,33). Jesus’ mission is to inaugurate the kingdom of his Father; he commands his disciples to proclaim the good news that “the kingdom of heaven is at hand” (Mt 10,7).
The kingdom, already present and growing in our midst, engages us at every level of our being and reminds us of the principle of discernment which Pope Paul VI applied to true development: it must be directed to “all men and the whole man”. We know that “evangelization would not be complete if it did not take account of the unceasing interplay of the Gospel and of man’s concrete life, both personal and social” (Paul VI). This is the principle of universality intrinsic to the Gospel, for the Father desires the salvation of every man and woman (cf. 1Tim 2,4), and his saving plan consists in “gathering up all things in Christ, things in heaven and things on earth” (Eph 1,10). Our mandate is to “go into all the world and proclaim the good news to the whole creation” (Mk 16,15), for “the creation waits with eager longing for the revealing of the children of God” (Rom 8,19). Here, “the creation” refers to every aspect of human life; consequently, “the mission of proclaiming the good news of Jesus Christ has a universal destination. Its mandate of charity encompasses all dimensions of existence, all individuals, all areas of community life, and all peoples. Nothing human can be alien to it”.