Poor Philip. He must have felt like Jesus was picking on him. Why couldn't Jesus have looked to someone, anyone else for this dilemma? Why was Philip singled out?
"When Jesus raised his eyes and saw that a large crowd was coming to him, he said to Philip, 'Where can we buy enough food for them to eat?' He said this to test him, because he himself knew what he was going to do" (Jn 6:5-6).
John, the Gospel writer, I'm sure edited Philip's response. Philip, according to the text, says, "Two hundred days' wages worth of food would not be enough for each of them to have a little." I bet his response was more like, "Um, are you serious, Lord? What are you smoking? There's no way we can feed this crowd. I'd have a better chance sipping tea with the Queen of England than getting enough food for everyone here." Okay, maybe that would have been my response. But Philip's probably wasn't all that different.
Some scholars think Philip may have been the apostle in charge of the supplies and food for the wandering band. This is perhaps why Jesus asked him the question.
Others think Jesus was establishing a rapport with Philip. Philip would gain confidence from this exchange, leading him to ask a bit later on: “Master, show us the Father, and that will be enough for us.” (Jn 14:8). Jesus explains how He and the Father are one, and that everything Jesus does is because of the Father. Without Philip's boldness, we might not have that Trinitarian insight.
Or, perhaps Philip was singled out so he could see acutely how the crowd was fed by Jesus and the difference Jesus made in their lives. Philip would remember this, and take this with him as he evangelized crowds after the Resurrection.
If you find yourself in a dilemma and saying, "Why me?", then you're in good company. It worked out well for Philip. It can for you too.
As I mentioned last week, St. Juliana Parish is starting the Queen of Hearts Raffle. You may have read recently how some parishes on the south side, as well as a few VFW Halls, have run this raffle to tremendous success (some producing a pot of over $1 million). This could be a huge fundraiser for our parish. The first drawing will be soon. Please look online for more details.
The Men's Club Golf Outing is quickly approaching. Please sign up if you haven't done so already. Thanks to all the members of the golf committee who have worked hard to put this together.
Also, please buy your tickets for the St. Juliana Emerald City Gala on September 15th at the Rosemont Convention Center. John McDonough, President and CEO of the Chicago Blackhawks will be present to be honored. We are still looking for some silent auction items, as well as some nice live auction items. If you have any, please let us know!
If you missed last week's bulletin, please take a look at my letter, where I listed the amount of money we raised for the various charitable causes over the last few months. The numbers demonstrate the generosity of our parish.
I will be around the parish for a few days in the middle of the week before departing once again, this time for my annual required retreat. I will be in silence during these five days and, of course, will continue to keep you all in my prayers.
Yours in Christ,