St. Bartholomew, Apostle, Monday, Aug 24

Rev 21:9-14 / John 1:45-51
Dad and mangoes, Lilly wants 2; grandma

St Bartholomew was from Cana in Galilee, and he was often identified as Nathaniel in the gospel of John but the other gospels listed him together with Philip as one of the first apostles chosen by Christ. From the gospel, we can make a presumption of what kind of character he was. Here’s an Israelite without guile. First Israelite was Jacob ….cunning ….
For one, he was a straight-forward and a straight-talking person, who said what he meant and meant what he said. We can make that presumption when he made that statement: Can anything good come from Nazareth? That was indeed a raw and cutting frankness. Nonetheless, he was an open-minded person because he followed Philip to see who that person Jesus was. He was also a person of prayer, as attested to by Jesus, because to sit under a fig tree means to be under its shade of coolness and to pray and meditate on God's righteousness and a longing for the coming of God's kingdom. So in effect, Jesus was affirming Bartholomew about his character. It was like He knew what kind of a person Bartholomew really was.

Similarly, Jesus also knows each of us through and through and He also wants to affirm our goodness. Like St. Bartholomew, let us continue to follow Jesus as He reveals Himself to us. ay we also come to know ourselves deeper and be strengthened in our goodness. May we also always meditate on God's righteousness and on God's kingdom and proclaim it in our lives.
What was Nathaniel (Bartholomew) doing under the fig tree that was so revealing of his authenticity? We would never know for sure. Yet, being under the fig tree seems to refer to being in communion with God and walking in God’s ways (see Mic 4:4; Zech 3:10). Whatever Nathaniel did under the fig tree, Jesus’s mentioning the event evoked an immediate pronouncement of faith from him who had been skeptical until then about anything good coming from Nazareth. One thing we know from the encounter: God sees us. Even before Philip met Nathaniel and spoke about Christ, Jesus has seen him. He sees us whether we are under the fig tree or in the market place. He not only sees where we are and what we do, but also sees into the deepest movements of our hearts. Nathaniel received high praise from Christ. When I meet Christ at my resurrection, what would he have to say about me?
Come and see, come so that ….you may see. Take the first step, like Abraham, like Mary, not knowing the future. We humans would like to see first, check it out first, verify with our rational mind before we take decisions. For matters of faith, we step in, launch first....

Let us pray: Lord our God, would that it could be said of each of us: ”there goes and honest person in whom there is no deceit,” one who is worthy of the name Christian. Make us into true disciples of Jesus who live as we believe day after day, and who cooperate in bringing people to your Son, Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen. God bless.