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. Sep 2020 .
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Doctrines & Morals

The Feast of St Bartholomew

Rev. 21:9-14, Jn 1:45-51. Today, the Church invites us to reflect on the life of St Bartholomew who was born at Cana and brought by the Apostle Philip to meet Jesus (Jn 1:45-51). The identity of Bartholomew is something of a puzzle. He is listed among the Twelve Apostles of Christ in the three Synoptic Gospels as Nathanael (Mt. 10:1-4, Mk 3:13-19 and Lk. 6:12-16) and also as being present at the Ascension scene (Acts 1:4.12.13). Jesus admires his openness and honesty, pays him a lovely compliment: “Here is an Israelite, incapable of deceit” or “in whom there is no deceit.” Even his dusty opinion about Nazareth: “Can anything good come out of Nazareth?” was, at least, an honest opinion; it was what he believed. Nathanael went on to recognise that his honest opinion about Nazareth was a mistaken one. He came to see that Jesus from Nazareth was none other than the "Son of God and the King of Israel."

It takes generosity of heart and spirit to recognise when we have got it wrong and recognise that our opinion of some persons or places was based on our prejudices rather than on reality. Nathanael’s honesty and generosity of heart can be an inspiration to us on this his feast day. The final word of today's Gospel, however, is addressed to Jesus, not to Nathanael. It takes the form of that wonderful promise Jesus makes to him: “You will see greater things! You will see heaven laid open and, above the Son of Man, the angels of God ascending and descending.” We may have a certain insight into Jesus, a certain appreciation of Him, like Nathanael, but Jesus assures us that there is so much more to see and appreciate. In our relationship with Jesus there are always “greater things” to see.

May the Lord grant us the grace to bring forth His light to reach out in faith to others and may we be able to show the love of God through our actions in life! Amen!! Remain safe and have a pleasant day!!!

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