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SAINT BARTHOLOMEW, the Apostle Feast PDF Print E-mail
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Thursday, 27 August 2009 07:06
SAINT BARTHOLOMEW, the Apostle Feast Bartholomew, sometimes referred to as Nathaniel in the Gospel, was one of the twelve Apostles. He was from Cana of Galilee. His friend the Apostle Philip brought him to the Lord in the region of Jordan. Jesus bestowed great praise on meeting him: Behold a true Israelite in whom there is no guile. He preached the Faith in Arabia and then in Armenia where he was martyred. The encounter with Jesus. Tradition identifies the Apostle Bartholomew with Nathanael, the friend of Philip, who conveyed his own joyful meeting with Jesus: We have found him of whom Moses in the Law and also the Prophets wrote, Jesus the son of Joseph of Nazareth (John 1:45). Nathanael, like every good Israelite, knew that the Messiah would come from Bethlehem, the city of David (cf St John Chrysostom, Homilies on St John’s Gospel, 20, 1). Thus the prophet Michah had foretold: And you, Bethlehem, Ephrathah, who are not least among the clans of Judah, for from you shall come forth one who is to be a ruler in Israel (Mic 5:2). Perhaps the town’s small size is why Nathanael then answered in a rather scornful tone: Can anything good come from Nazareth? Without relying too much on his own explanations, Philip then invited his surprised listener to meet the Master personally: Come and see, he said to him. Philip knew as well as we do that Christ does not mislead anyone. Jesus himself calls Nathanael through Philip, as he calls Peter through his brother Andrew. This is how divine Providence works - by calling and leading us through others. God does not want to work on his own: his Wisdom and Goodness include our participation in the creation and order of things (O. Hophan, The Apostles). How many times shall we ourselves be instruments, so that our friends and family can receive the Lord’s call? How many shall we have invited like Philip to come and see? The sincere Nathanael accompanied Philip to Jesus... and he was astonished. The Master won his fidelity forever. On seeing him arrive with Philip, the Lord says to him: Behold a true Israelite in whom there is no guile! What great praise! Nathanael was surprised, and asked him: How do you know me? And the Lord responded in words that are mysterious for us, but were clear and enlightening for his guest: Before Philip called you, when you were under the fig tree, I saw you. On hearing Jesus, Nathanael understood clearly. The words of the Lord reminded him of some intimate event: perhaps the confirmation of a resolution he was about to make. The encounter caused Nathanael to make a heart felt explicit confession of faith in Jesus as the Messiah: Rabbi, you are the Son of God, you are the King of Israel. The Lord answered him: Because I have told you I saw you under the fig tree, you believe? Greater things than this you will see. Jesus then evoked a text of the prophet Daniel (Dan 7:13), to give greater depth to the words he had just finished speaking to the new disciple: Truly, truly, I say to you, you will see heaven opened up, and the angels of God rising and descending on the Son of Man. With permission from Scepter UK. Short excerpt from IN CONVERSATION WITH GOD by Francis Fernandez. Available at SinagTala or Totus Bookstore 723-4326 or at www.totusbookstore. com (info@totusbookstore .com) To subscribe or unsubscribe, please email info@defensoresfide i.com. The DEFENSORES FIDEI FOUNDATION actively spreads Ecclesial Information, Catechetical Instructions and Apologetics in pursuit of making good Catholics better Catholics. Any contribution to help this apostolate is heaven-sent and now TAX-DEDUCTIBLE (in USA). Please visit us at www.defensoresfidei .com.
 

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