St. Bartholomew, Apostle (2)

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.

Readings: Revelation 21:9b–14; Psalm 145:10–13, 17–18; John 1:45–51. See also Sts. Michael, Gabriel, and Raphael, Archangels and St. Bartholomew the Apostle.

St. Bartholomew the Apostle

In today’s Gospel Nathanael didn’t have a high impression of anyone who came from Nazareth. He was sincere and didn’t mince words. When Philip invited him to come and see, he had the faith to see for himself whether Our Lord was the Messiah. Nathanael did not interpret Jesus’ evaluation of him as flattery; he was surprised to find that Jesus seemed to know him, not just by surface details like a Sherlock Holmes, but how he was from the inside. Our Lord wasn’t ribbing him either for the comment he’d made about Nazareth. His words struck a chord in Nathanael, and Nathanael knew something new was in store.

When Our Lord reveals that he saw Nathanael under the fig tree it seems Nathanael receives a sign of something for which he was searching. What was he doing under the fig tree? Was he praying about what God wanted him to do in his life? Was he asking for some sort of sign? Whatever it was, Nathanael found what he was looking for in Jesus and professed his faith in him as the Messiah. Our Lord responded by promising him that even greater revelations were in store for him.

Today’s Gospel teaches us what Our Lord has in store for us, if we have faith in him. He wants to resolve those doubts and questions in our hearts. He wants show us that he knows more about us than we know about ourselves. He wants to begin a journey of greater and greater revelations through following him. Let’s ask for that faith.

Readings: Revelation 21:9b–14; Psalm 145:10–13, 17–18; John 1:45–51.