The Feast of St.Bartolomeo


Apocalypse 21:9-14
John 1:45-51


Today is the feast of St Bartholomew, one of the twelve apostles. Besides being listed as an Apostle, he is not otherwise mentioned in the New Testament, at least not under the name Bartholomew. Many ancient writers and Catholic tradition have identified Bartholomew as Nathaniel in the Gospel of John. In fact, the gospel from John is what we hear today.

It begins with Philip finding Nathanael and telling him: ‘We have found the one Moses wrote about in the Law, the one about whom the prophets wrote: he is Jesus, son of Joseph, from Nazareth.’  Nathanael’s response to Philip’s announcement sounds sceptical. He says to Philip: “Can anything good come from Nazareth?” Apparently, Nazareth did not have a good reputation.

Rather than argue with Nathanael, Philip gives the invitation of come and see.

When Nathanael agreed to come, he had no great expectations about what he was going to see. Imagine his surprise when he encountered Jesus and heard his words. What Nathanael saw was enough to convince him that Jesus was the Son of God. He expected so little and found so much.

Even greater things would be seen by Nathanael. He would see the fulfilment of God’s eternal will for man’s redemption through this Jesus of Nazareth.

The experience of meeting Jesus was powerful enough to convince Nathanael. The experience would be powerful enough to convince anyone.

How and where do you encounter Jesus?

Joanne McGrath is a parishioner of St Brigid’s Marrickville and a Passionist Companion.

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