Wednesday 24 August 2022 – YOU ARE THE SON OF GOD AND KING OF ISRAEL

Bartholomew

1st Reading: Rev 21:9b-14   

The angel spoke to me, saying, “Come here. I will show you the bride, the wife of the Lamb.” He took me in spirit to a great, high mountain and showed me the holy city Jerusalem coming down out of heaven from God. It gleamed with the splendour of God. Its radiance was like that of a precious stone, like jasper, clear as crystal. It had a massive, high wall, with twelve gates where twelve angels were stationed and on which names were inscribed, the names of the twelve tribes of the children of Israel. There were three gates facing east, three north, three south, and three west. The wall of the city had twelve courses of stones as its foundation, on which were inscribed the twelve names of the twelve Apostles of the Lamb.

Gospel: Jn 1:45-51   

Philip found Nathanael and told him, “We have found the one about whom Moses wrote in the law, and also the prophets, Jesus son of Joseph, from Nazareth.” But Nathanael said to him, “Can anything good come from Nazareth?” Philip said to him, “Come and see.” Jesus saw Nathanael coming toward him and said of him, “Here is a true child of Israel. There is no duplicity in him.” Nathanael said to him, “How do you know me?”  Jesus answered and said to him, “Before Philip called you, I saw you under the fig tree.” Nathanael answered him, “Rabbi, you are the Son of God; you are the King of Israel.” Jesus answered and said to him, “Do you believe because I told you that I saw you under the fig tree? You will see greater things than this.” And he said to him, “Amen, amen, I say to you, you will see heaven opened and the angels of God ascending and descending on the Son of Man.”

YOU ARE THE SON OF GOD AND KING OF ISRAEL: Today we celebrate the feast of St. Bartholomew, one of the Twelve Apostles. The Gospel according to John does not use the name Bartholomew but mentions the name Nathaniel. It was ascribed that Bartholomew was Nathaniel. When Philip proclaims to Nathanael that they have found the one prophesied by Moses and  he is Jesus, the son of Joseph from Nazareth, Nathaniel was sceptical about it because he thought that Messiah could not come from Nazareth. His encounter with Jesus changes his prejudiced ideas.  The Gospels reports many instances of encounters that changed the lives of people for ever. The apostles, Nathaniel, the Samaritan woman, Zacchaeus, many sick and possessed people and scores of others found transformation in their lives after encountering with Jesus. The life and mission of the Apostles must stir our hearts to be faithful to the Lord.

Prayer:  Lord let me encounter you in my daily life.

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YOU WILL SEE GREATER THINGS: The New Jerusalem will be the final place of the church which is the bride of Christ. The church are human beings who Jesus has washed in His precious blood and has renewed their lives. It is not the good people but the real people whose lives have been converted. In the Gospel, we see Nathanael asking whether anything good can come out of Nazareth. However, we know very well that Jesus who is the best thing that has ever happened to the world came from there. Sometimes we look at people in the way Nathanael looked at Nazareth, and we think nothing good can come out of them. But Jesus promise is that those who believe will see greater things as their life gets transformed into what they have never imagined.

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ORDINARY DESCIPLES: The followers of Jesus were ordinary people. Scripture mentions some only once or twice. Little is known about their lives. But they are remembered as the first who said yes. Nathanael and Philip are among them. Nathanael listened but had his doubts. What good could come from an insignificant place like Nazareth? Still, he left his peaceful place under the fig tree to follow his friend. When Jesus recognized Nathanael, he was thrilled. Jesus promised more greatness to come. Despite our achievements, it is tough to acknowledge greatness. We are experts at detecting flaws. Jesus calls us to greatness. It begins in an ordinary way: trusting a friend, leaving our hiding place, being known, saying yes. The possibilities of being alive return. We venture out into a world filled with God’s presence.