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St Bartholomew also known as Nathanael, one of the twelve apostles.

He was flayed alive for his beliefs. He holds in his right hand a butcher's knife, a symbol of his martyrdom.

by Rembrandt van Rijn

A reading of the holy Gospel according to Jn 1:45-51

Philip found Nathanael and told him, “We have found the one about whom Moses wrote in the law, and also the prophets, Jesus son of Joseph, from Nazareth.” But Nathanael said to him, “Can anything good come from Nazareth?” Philip said to him, “Come and see.” Jesus saw Nathanael coming toward him and said of him, “Here is a true child of Israel. There is no duplicity in him.” Nathanael said to him, “How do you know me?” Jesus answered and said to him, “Before Philip called you, I saw you under the fig tree.” Nathanael answered him, “Rabbi, you are the Son of God; you are the King of Israel.” Jesus answered and said to him, “Do you believe because I told you that I saw you under the fig tree? You will see greater things than this.” And he said to him, “Amen, amen, I say to you, you will see heaven opened and the angels of God ascending and descending on the Son of Man.”


“How do you know me?”

Nathanael was also known as Bartholomew. He was one of the twelve apostles. He was a docile man who gave up his ideas of "can anything good come out of Nazareth?" He had been looking for the Messiah and in the few words spoken between him and Jesus, Nathanael became a believer. He was no longer dismissive and judgmental.

Jesus had seen him before under the fig tree.

How can this be? There are so many people who are seeking the Lord, and it takes them years. Nathanael was a true child without duplicity. He had no pretentions, no accomplishments to brag about, no high offices, no wealth, no possessions. In fact, we know nothing about him until he was sent on his mission to spread the word of God. Nathanael wanted to follow and was ready for Jesus.

And, yet, it comes as no surprise that Jesus knew him before Nathanael spoke to Him. Throughout scripture we are reminded that God loved us first before we knew of Him. That He knows all that I do, think, and my innermost desires (good or bad). He is God! and therefore, nothing is secret to God. And so why do I sin and find it hard to confess? He knows my sins before they come out of my mouth. What Jesus wants is the docility of mind, the removal of all extrinsics so that my soul will be solely His.

Philip knew Jesus first and he in turn sought out his friend, Nathanael, to tell him about Jesus. Do I look for people to talk to about God or do I delve into politics or news trends of the day or things that distract from my prayer life?

Since God knows all, He knows how to fix me, why I do what I do and He will give me His Spirit to shape me (if I want) to be a child of God with no duplicity.

Accept the invitation to follow God and allow Him to show us His glory.

God Bless You.


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