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Home Sections The Daily B.R.E.A.D. Aug 24, 2009 - Monday Meditation (Come and See, Jesus)
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Sections - The Daily B.R.E.A.D.
Saturday, 15 August 2009 19:20

N athanael is the only skeptical one, “Can anything good come from Nazareth?” Philip replies with the invitation, “Come and see”.  Nathanael, easily impressed because Jesus anticipated his coming, eagerly follows. Effortless, uncomplicated and undemanding.

 

Feast of Saint Bartholomew (Nathaniel), Apostle

Revelations 21:9b-14

Psalm 145:10-11, 12-13, 17-18

J ohn 1:45-51  (alternate passage and meditation on Matthew 23:13-22)  Philip found Nathan'a-el, and said to him, "We have found him of whom Moses in the law and also the prophets wrote, Jesus of Nazareth, the son of Joseph." (46) Nathan'a-el said to him, "Can anything good come out of Nazareth ?" Philip said to him, "Come and see." (47) Jesus saw Nathan'a-el coming to him, and said of him, "Behold, an Israelite indeed, in whom is no guile!" (48) Nathan'a-el said to him, "How do you know me?" Jesus answered him, "Before Philip called you, when you were under the fig tree, I saw you." (49) Nathan'a-el answered him, "Rabbi, you are the Son of God! You are the King of Israel!" (50) Jesus answered him, "Because I said to you, I saw you under the fig tree, do you believe? You shall see greater things than these." (51) And he said to him, "Truly, truly, I say to you, you will see heaven opened, and the angels of God ascending and descending upon the Son of man."

* M editation by Diane Jorgensen

Your friends make known, O Lord, the glorious splendor of your Kingdom.

H ere we are at the beginning of a work week – and for all of us at Creighton University , like many campuses throughout North America at this time of year– the beginning of a new school year. Undergrads begin Welcome Week, professional students begin their classes, and new faculty members have orientation. Beginnings are filled with so many emotions, questions, doubts and promises... even for those returning to campus. Newcomers wander the campus, searching for belonging and something familiar. Returnees are eager to reconnect with friends and come with resolutions to do better this year.  So many expectations of ourselves and others, how do we hold it all? 

Today is the feast of St. Bartholomew (otherwise known as Nathanael) and the Gospel is a story of beginnings…. the narrative of Nathanael’s introduction to Jesus and his call to follow him. Upon first reading of this passage, as well as the surrounding verses, I’m struck by how easy it was for those first followers to come to a knowledge and faith in Jesus. With John the Baptist’s brief testimony, “Look, here is the Lamb of God!” Jesus begins to gather an interested group who in turn invite others.  No resumes, no reference letters, no assessment of outcomes, no annual reports. They all drop what they are doing and, curious, follow him. Nathanael is the only skeptical one, “Can anything good come from Nazareth ?” Philip replies with the invitation, “Come and see”.  Nathanael, easily impressed because Jesus anticipated his coming, eagerly follows. Effortless, uncomplicated and undemanding.

Surely the disciples came to faith the way we do… over a long period of time, imperfectly, eager one time, hesitant the next; hearts full of doubt and full of hope; a history of broken promises and re-commitment.   But that’s the rest of the story. Today is about the beginning; the invitation. Accepting an invitation to relationship is not easy. We long for the life that Jesus promises, but we carry the hurts and heartbreak of human relationships. Can we take the risk? Is our desire for fullness of life greater than our need to hold onto our wounds, the battle scars of human relationships?   How is Jesus inviting me into relationship through the circumstances and people of my life?

As we begin this week -- classes, an ordinary work week, a new friendship, teaching, learning -- here are some questions to consider:

Is there anyone in my life who sees something greater in me than I can see in myself? Do I trust him or her?

Jesus invited Nathanael into relationship… who is inviting me to a deeper relationship? Who is inviting me to greater love, greater hope, greater compassion and greater life?

Pray these questions with the praise of the psalmist in your heart: “Your friends make known, O Lord, the glorious splendor of your Kingdom.”  Are these friends not radiant, like a precious stone?  Or a secure foundation, like the massive walls of the city?

Jesus promises that Nathanael will see even greater things -- that Jesus himself will unite the heavens and the earthly, reveal the presence of the eternal within the temporal -- that all may know that the goodness and compassion of God are now carried in us, in our humanity and our everyday, mortal world. The kingdom is among us! Come and See!

* S upplementary Reading

CoNVENIENT fAITH

… you are looking for me not because you saw signs but because you ate the loaves  and were filled… – John 6:26

R ewards and freebies are great tools in selling products and services. Oftentimes, the decision to patronize a particular product or service is influenced not so much by the quality or performance but by the freebies that go along with the merchandise. It’s sad that many of us seek for freebies in the church — things that suit our preferences. Like a parish priest who is good at giving homilies. Or a nicely built, well-ventilated church that’s accessible from our house. Or the presence of the Charismatic group where we belong. And when these things are gone, our enthusiasm to go to church and serve God diminishes.

We fail to realize that beyond these things is a far greater reason to embrace the faith — a life in union with God and the great reward of eternal life. We can have all these only when we learn to recognize what is truly important. Jane Gonzales (Kerygma)

R EFLECTION:

Do you find joy in serving God even if it’s inconvenient for you?

Dear Lord, I renew my commitment to serve You. Forgive me for thinking of my own convenience. Use me, Lord, to be of service to others for Your glory. Amen.

 


GOD BLESS US ALL!
PRAY as if everything depended on HIM. ACT as if everything depended on YOU.
 
 
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Last Updated on Monday, 24 August 2009 14:01
 
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1 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)

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