Tuesday, May 3, 2011

Why at the beginning of May?

Today we celebrate the feast of two apostles of which little is know:James the Son of Alpheus (aka James the Lesser), and Philip. Why together and why today? The feast day is not set in the way many saints days are set, the day they die and enter eternal life, because we don't have that information. In fact, all we know about this James is his name. Today's feast marks the transfer of the relics of the two Apostles to their present location, the Basilica of the Twelve Apostles in Rome.

Because the Basilica was behind the building where I lived, I went there often to pray. You walk into the church up the center isle through the gate and down the steps into the area under the altar. There you see a window with a kneeler in front of it and behind the glass two simple stone coffins.

In my travels I have found certain places where the holiness is palpable. Time seems to stand still. Those who know me know I am not one for standing or even sitting still. Kneeling there, time seemed to stop and I could stay forever. How or why I don't know. I can only tell you what I experienced. Time after time I could return to that place, the tomb of two relative unknowns among the saint, and find the peace Christ spoke of in Sunday's gospel.