Today is the feast of two other apostles Philip and James.
The apostles were foundation stones of the early church community.
They were handpicked by Jesus as his companions. They saw him doing amazing things and saying amazing things.
They were witnesses to the resurrection.
Jesus sent out to go everywhere and proclaim the good news and to baptise.
They were given authority by Jesus to teach in his name.
This apostolic authority was seen as being very important to the early church.
In the acts of the apostles, in the scriptures, we are told that the early Christians remained true to all the teachings of the apostles. They did not pick and choose.
The apostles passed on their authority by the laying on of hands, what we now call ordination.
In the creed, the words ‘One, Holy Catholic and Apostolic Church’ were used as four important signs of the authentic Apostolic Church.
In our Catholic community we believe that this apostolic teaching authority still persists in the Church.
The Holy Spirit has not given up on the Church despite human frailty and sin!
Love, prayer, and commitment to holiness give life and spirit to this authority. This Apostolic authority keeps us connected us to the Spirit filled wisdom of the ages. It stops us from going on a tangent for too long. It stops us from following the ideas or teachings of a charismatic preacher or teacher who teaches something different from the authentic Catholic teachings.
These teachings are not static. They are certainly founded on the scriptural and church teachings. However, as Jesus Himself said, the Holy Spirit will continue to help us understand more deeply his teachings in an ongoing way.
Authentic but for ever in depth in and evolving.
‘I am with you always even unto the end of time’.
He will never abandon us!