FEAST OF SAINT BARTHOLOMEW, APOSTLE

August 24, 2019

Revelation 21:9-14 

 

Then one of the seven angels who had the seven bowls full of the seven last plagues came and said to me, “Come, I will show you the bride, the wife of the Lamb.” And in the spirit he carried me away to a great, high mountain and showed me the holy city Jerusalem coming down out of heaven from God. It has the glory of God and a radiance like a very rare jewel, like jasper, clear as crystal. It has a great, high wall with twelve gates, and at the gates twelve angels, and on the gates are inscribed the names of the twelve tribes of the Israelites; on the east three gates, on the north three gates, on the south three gates, and on the west three gates. And the wall of the city has twelve foundations, and on them are the twelve names of the twelve apostles of the Lamb.

 

 

Psalm 145: 10-13, 17-18

 

All your works shall give thanks to you, O Lord,

    and all your faithful shall bless you.

 

They shall speak of the glory of your kingdom,

    and tell of your power,

 

to make known to all people your mighty deeds,

    and the glorious splendor of your kingdom.

 

Your kingdom is an everlasting kingdom,

    and your dominion endures throughout all generations.

The Lord is just in all his ways,

    and kind in all his doings.

 

The Lord is near to all who call on him,

    to all who call on him in truth.

 

 

John 1:45-51 

 

Philip found Nathanael and said to him, “We have found him about whom Moses in the law and also the prophets wrote, Jesus son of Joseph from Nazareth.” Nathanael said to him, “Can anything good come out of Nazareth?” Philip said to him, “Come and see.” When Jesus saw Nathanael coming toward him, he said of him, “Here is truly an Israelite in whom there is no deceit!” Nathanael asked him, “Where did you get to know me?” Jesus answered, “I saw you under the fig tree before Philip called you.” Nathanael replied, “Rabbi, you are the Son of God! You are the King of Israel!” Jesus answered, “Do you believe because I told you that I saw you under the fig tree? You will see greater things than these.” And he said to him, “Very truly, I tell you, you will see heaven opened and the angels of God ascending and descending upon the Son of Man.”

 

(NRSVCE)

 

Meditation

 

When we talk about the foundations of God’s Kingdom, as in the readings today, we talk about the faithful of God. The apostles, the tribes, angels, and the bride are all the precious parts of the Kingdom of God.

 

In the Gospel, we hear about Nathanael asking Philip if ‘anything’ good could come out of Nazareth, but what he means is ‘anyone’ good and by ‘good’ he means godly. Jesus reads his heart, and calls out to Nathanael saying that he is a man with no deceit. Nathanael sounds like he is being critical and harsh about Jesus’ hometown. But Jesus doesn’t fault him for it. Maybe he sees that Nathanael is skeptical and weary precisely because he sees so much around him that is deceitful and he has no place in his heart for it and no patience. It is virtuous to hate what is evil.

 

Nathanael, like Philip, is excited to find the Messiah and to put his faith in Jesus. Jesus promises that he will see angels ascending and descending. All of heaven will be opened to him. He will become a witness of God’s glory.

 

Have you ever felt bad about making a negative assessment of the world around you, or about a group of people?  Have you felt skeptical about a political body or organization, or maybe even the Church? It may be an indication that you are thirsting for truth and goodness like Nathanael. It may mean that it is time for you to put your faith in Jesus.  

 

God reigns in our hearts and we are his building. We are the ones who shine victoriously as the bride of our Lord. We are the faithful who desire good and not evil. Today, be grateful for the truth that reigns in your heart knowing that it comes from the Lord. Be willing to become a witness for the Lord so that you too may become a brilliant part of the foundation of the Kingdom of God.

 

 

 

 

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