In today’s First Reading the Apostle John describes the heavenly Church, the Bride of Christ, as the heavenly Jerusalem, radiant with the light of God. The Spouse of Christ is adorned and beautiful, just was we are called to be one day with all the saints in Heaven, adorned with grace and virtue. Everyone will be an adornment in this heavenly edifice, but some of them are fundamental. The Twelve gates of the Twelve tribes of Israel remind us that the people of Israel paved the way through being the culture and People of God in which our Savior would be born: through Israel salvation began to be extended to the whole world.
Twelve was an important number to show the continuity between the old People of God founded on Sinai and the new People of God founded on the Apostles with Christ as the cornerstone. The Twelve were the bedrock on which Our Lord chose to construct his Church, including Bartholomew, whom we celebrate today. In John’s vision the Twelve were remembered as the foundation stones of the walls: thanks to their fidelity to Christ the heavenly city is safe and secure from every threat, just as even today we know the Church is safe so long as she adheres to the teaching she has received from Christ through his Apostles.
Let’s pray today to be living stones, in imitation of the Apostles, who truly help build up the Church.