• Olivia M. Bannan

FRIDAY FEAST OF SAINT BARTHOLOMEW


A reading from the holy Gospel according to John 1: 45-51

Philip found Nathanael and said to him, «We have found the one that Moses wrote about in the Law, and the prophets as well: He is Jesus, son of Joseph, from Nazareth». Nathanael replied, «Can anything good come from Nazareth?». Philip said to him, «Come and see». When Jesus saw Nathanael coming, he said of him, «Here comes an Israelite, a true one; there is nothing false in him». Nathanael asked him, «How do you know me?». And Jesus said to him, «Before Philip called you, you were under the fig tree and I saw you». Nathanael answered, «Master, you are the Son of God! You are the King of Israel!». But Jesus replied, «You believe because I said: ‘I saw you under the fig tree’. But you will see greater things than that. Truly, I say to you, you will see the heavens opened and the angels of God ascending and descending upon the Son of Man».

REFLECTION: Come and see

Today we celebrate the feast of Saint Bartholomew. (formerly Nathaniel)

Have you ever wondered how husbands and wives met, how friendships were first started, how things or events evolved that got you to where you are or got others where they are?

Jesus casually met Phillip and said," Come follow me". Phillip, so enthused about meeting Jesus, goes to his friend Nathaniel and exhorts him to come meet Jesus, whom Moses wrote about. Nathaniel meets Jesus and Jesus reminds Nathaniel that he was noticed long before, sitting under a fig tree studying, resting and pondering . These events may appear as just coincidences or sheer chance meetings, but they were actually set up long ago in God's infinite plan.

Under God's loving gaze, we too can meet Jesus through life's events. Yesterday, as I was running late for mass and rushing to find a parking space, I noticed a young woman getting out of her car. I thought nothing of her, other than, she, too, was tardy for mass. As I quietly entered the chapel and stood in the back, here comes in that young woman who enters with two little ones ( ages, 4 and 2?) and carrying a one year old. Immediately entering the chapel, they all head into the bathrooms and come out 5-10 minutes later. She joined the "tardies" in the back of the chapel. Her kids, blessed themselves with holy water, and overall did what little ones do--poke , touch, cry, and not stir too far away from their mom.

She brought Jesus to me--at that very moment when I noticed her getting out of her car. What prompted her to go to mass that day? ( I had not seen her before) , how long did the "getting ready" take at home, and then the car seats and the strapping in and then, of course, all need to go to the bathroom once they arrive at their destination. The patience she showed with each toddler needing help. One could feel the presence of Jesus as she attended mass.

Everything we do is noticed by someone. Always carry the Lord with you, always show others Jesus and be conscious that Jesus is at our door knocking. We all need that external voice or that encounter saying, "Come and see"......

PRAYER: " A soul which does not practice the exercise of prayer is very like a paralyzed body which, though possessing feet and hands, makes no use of them."

St Alphonsus Liguori, Patron saint of PAPA

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