Feast of Saints Philip and James, Apostles
It is amazing, that quite often in the ministry we do that we are ministered too. Amazing difference can be made through sharing ourselves and our gifts with others. In the ministries we all do, listening can be a powerful gift to those who are lonely or suffering or simply in need of encouragement. We are called to be the encounter with Christ and encounter Christ in others. Our presence can make a profound difference in a situation, and often we receive what we have shared ten-fold.
Recently a mother called the office and reminded me through her tears of her son’s death and the gratitude she felt for my being willing to stand by her side and pray with her. The moment of which she spoke came back to me instantly. Her world seemed in chaos, having just heard of her sons death the whole family was shaken with grief. Even as the storm gathered round us I felt called to put my hand on her shoulder and pray. The words I shared were not mine, many were given to me through the scriptures, others came from the spirit. Her heart was broken and somehow the prayer that came forth offered her consolation. Even then I could sense the presence of the Lord and the healing spirit. Through her sharing on the phone this mother offered me an unexpected healing.
Through this experience with both learned more clearly that our faith teaches us that suffering is not the end of the story. The paschal mystery reminds us that resurrection follows death. Indeed we are receiving this message through the very fabric of creation. When we minister to others in their brokenness, we hand on what we have received by being the calm in their storm.
In being the face of Christ, we testify to the one who saves us, and testify to the God the Father who sent his Son. Like Lent the Easter season is a particular time for us to focus our faith one the life of Christ and His Church. Our testimony that we have been given by the Lord must be shared in the way we think, talk, and act. And though like Philip there is always a part of us that wants the Lord to give us a direct glimpse of God, the Lord reminds us to believe in Him and the one who sent Him.
Jesus shared what he had been given with the apostles, and through the church and one another they continue to hand on to us what they had received. If like Hebrews 11:1 says, “faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen;” then we must share God’s goodness with all we meet.
Lord help us to be like Philip and James sharing the Gospel out of the deep knowledge of your presence that You have handed down to us. Amen! Alleluia!
Deacon Michael Montgomery