The Lord has truly risen, alleluia.
Year: B(I). Liturgical Colour: White.
In other years: Saints Philip and James, Apostles
Philip was born at Bethsaida and started as a disciple of John the Baptist. After the Baptist’s death he followed Christ.
James the son of Alphaeus is called “James the Less”, to distinguish him from James the son of Zebedee. James “the brother of the Lord” ruled the Church at Jerusalem; wrote an epistle; led an austere life; and converted many Jews to the Faith. He was crowned with martyrdom in the year 62.
Jerome held these two Jameses to be the same person, and this was certainly the prevailing opinion when the feast of Philip and James was instituted in 560. Nowadays scholars prefer to divide them, in which case we might think of today as being the feast of Philip and James and James.
About the author of the Second Reading in today's Office of Readings:
Second Reading: Saint Melito of Sardis (- c.180)
Melito was the bishop of Sardis near Smyrna in western Anatolia, and a great authority in early Christianity. Jerome, speaking of the Old Testament canon established by Melito, quotes Tertullian to the effect that he was esteemed as a prophet by many of the faithful. Most of his works have not survived. His Apology to Marcus Aurelius, now known only in a Syriac translation, explains the origins of the Christian faith and tries to dissuade the emperor from persecuting Christians. His On the Passover, which was rediscovered only in 1940, sets the Last Supper and the Passion in the context of the Jewish Passover and thus relates Christianity to its roots in Judaism.
Liturgical colour: white
White is the colour of heaven. Liturgically, it is used to celebrate feasts of the Lord; Christmas and Easter, the great seasons of the Lord; and the saints. Not that you will always see white in church, because if something more splendid, such as gold, is available, that can and should be used instead. We are, after all, celebrating.
In the earliest centuries all vestments were white – the white of baptismal purity and of the robes worn by the armies of the redeemed in the Apocalypse, washed white in the blood of the Lamb. As the Church grew secure enough to be able to plan her liturgy, she began to use colour so that our sense of sight could deepen our experience of the mysteries of salvation, just as incense recruits our sense of smell and music that of hearing. Over the centuries various schemes of colour for feasts and seasons were worked out, and it is only as late as the 19th century that they were harmonized into their present form.
|Mid-morning reading (Terce)||(Apocalypse 1:17-18) ©|
I saw the Son of Man, and he said to me, ‘Have no fear! I am the First and the Last. I was dead and now I am to live for ever and ever, and I hold the keys of death and of the underworld.’
|Noon reading (Sext)||Colossians 2:9,12 ©|
In Christ lives the fullness of divinity, and in him you too find your own fulfilment. You have been buried with him, when you were baptised; and by baptism, too, you have been raised up with him through your belief in the power of God who raised him from the dead.
|Afternoon reading (None)||2 Timothy 2:8,11 ©|
Remember the Good News that I carry, ‘Jesus Christ risen from the dead, sprung from the race of David’. Here is a saying that you can rely on: ‘If we have died with him, then we shall live with him.’