Today’s Saint

Daily Journey with the Saints

May 3 | Curiosity

Saint Philip

1st Century

Curiosity is a virtue. Have you ever thought of it that way?

St. Philip the Apostle embodied the virtue of curiosity. In fact, it was curiosity that launched him into the extraordinary adventure of following Jesus and ultimately led him to be part of a mission that would change the world.

Philip meets Jesus early in the Gospel of John, in the very first chapter. In fact, Jesus purposely finds him. 

When Jesus first meets his apostles, he doesn’t tell them much. A couple of them ask Jesus where he is staying. Jesus responds, “Come and see.” (John 1:39) And the apostles follow him with curiosity and excitement. Soon after, Philip is so excited that he tells his brother Nathanael to come along too: “We have found the one about whom Moses wrote in the law, and also the prophets, Jesus son of Joseph, from Nazareth.” (John 1:45) Nathanael responds skeptically and asks if anything good can come from Nazareth. Philip responds with the words of Jesus: “Come and see.” (John 1:46) Nathanael becomes curious, and follows his brother to Jesus, who never stops stoking his curiosity. 

If Jesus had simply told his apostles, “I’m staying here, I’m going to save the world, and here’s how I’m going to do it,” that would have given them understanding but it also might have deadened their curiosity. 

So Jesus doesn't tell his apostles where he's staying. He says, “Come and see.” He stokes their curiosity. And then Philip becomes curious, and repeats Jesus’ words: Come and see. So much of the Gospel is spread that way, by stoking someone’s curiosity.

The invitation today is to stoke your curiosity. 

In our culture, we overvalue understanding and we undervalue mystery. When we overvalue understanding, we very often give up or surrender or quit on our curiosity, and curiosity can be a very, very holy thing.

Sometimes we are so fixed on understanding mysteries that we think understanding is the ultimate prize in life. But understanding isn't the prize. The real prize is experiencing God, experiencing God's grace, experiencing the Gospel. And very often that means immersing ourselves in mysteries that cannot be understood or that can only be partially understood. 

So today, stoke your holy curiosity, stoke your childlike curiosity.


I love being Catholic.

This reflection is brought to you from book title.

Patron Saint of: Cape Verde, Hatters, Pastry Chefs, and Uruguay

Also Known As: Philip the Apostle

Symbols: The Cross with Two Loaves of Bread

Feast Day: May 3

Feast Day Shared By: Saint Alexander

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