ST BARTHOLOMEW, AP. (Feast) Red
Nathaniel bar Tolomai (or Bartholomew) was probably a close friend of Philip as his name is always mentioned in the Gospels in connection with Philip. And it was Philip who brought Bartholomew to Jesus. Nathaniel may have preached in Asia Minor, Ethiopia, India and Armenia, leaving early writings behind. And local tradition says that he was flayed and beheaded in Armenia.
First Reading: Rev 21:9b-14;Psalm: 145. R. v. 12a; Gospel: Jn 1:45-51
BRINGING CHRIST TO THE WORLD
BY FR VALENTINE NNAMDI EGBUONU, MSP
Every lighted candle evidently has the potency to light another unlit candle. Philip’s encounter with Jesus was transformative. He couldn’t hold the joy of this discovery burning inside of him; and so he goes out to light the heart of Nathaniel with the beautiful news. Philip said to Nathaniel, “We have found him of whom Moses in the law and also the prophets wrote, Jesus of Nazareth, the son of Joseph.” These words were not enough to convince Nathaniel that Jesus the Nazarene was the Messiah. Nathaniel disbelieved the news. Philip then said to him “Come and see.”
Nathaniel followed Philip filled with doubts as he went to see this man from Nazareth. When Jesus saw Nathaniel, he demonstrated a supernatural knowledge of him by revealing the state of Nathaniel’s heart and the exact place he was before Philip called him. This experience amazed Nathaniel for he has never known anyone who could tell of his inner life and his whereabouts except God. This convinced him that Jesus was truly the Messiah. He then professed, “Rabbi, you are the Son of God! You are the king of Israel.”
Philip would probably not have succeeded in convincing or converting Nathaniel to believe that Jesus was truly the Messiah had he sat under the fig tree and argued with Nathaniel with all his philosophical and theological knowledge. But inspired by the Spirit, Philip simply told Nathaniel to ‘come and see.’ Nathaniel saw and believed. Sometimes it is not what we say or how well we preach that converts people but the reflection of Christ in our words and doings. If we want to change our world, people who come in contact with us must see the Christ in us. We can light many unlit candles if people can really see in us the God who truly knows and loves them.
PRAYER FOR THE DAY
Lord Jesus, make us useful instruments of the gospel. Amen.