Their day is tomorrow, but with the observance of the Ascension of our Lord, we observed their feast today. I am always struck by that Gospel reading from John 14 - "He who has seen me has seen the Father." Philip had heard our Lord jaw on about the Father for too long - he wanted to SEE the Father. "Show us the Father and it is enough." And our Lord's jaw-dropping answer. "Have you been with me so long, Philip, and you still do not understand?"
We can look for the Father, for God, in all sorts of places. But they all end in despair or terror. The one place we can look for the Father and really see Him, see into His own heart, is in the Son. We can look at the Cross and really SEE the Father.
"But God beheld my wretched state
Before the world's foundation,
And mindful of His mercies great
He planned my soul's salvation.
He turned to me a Father's heart;
He did not choose the easy part,
But gave His dearest treasure."
To look upon the Son in His sacrifice of love is to see into the very heart of God the Father, and thus we get on our knees before the Cross. For what we see astounds and silences us. We have been loved, really and truly loved from before the ages began, in His Son - the Lamb slain before the foundation of the world. That's the good news that Sts. James and Philip went forth preaching - that's the good news that they gave their lives in witness to.
How well did St. Hippolytus say that our Lord is "the visible of the Father." And what is visible is pure love. Glory to Him forever!