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Gospel 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.”


Jesus saw Nathanael coming toward him and said of him, “Here is a true child of Israel. There is no duplicity in him.”

Who is Nathanael? Who is Bartholomew? Some ancient writers and scholars believe that Nathanael and Bartholomew are the same person. The feast day of St. Bartholomew is celebrated on August 24th and the church honors him with the account of Nathanael in the Gospel of St. John.

In the Gospel, Jesus says something very complementary about Nathanael. He says that he is a faithful child of Israel and that there is nothing hidden or deceitful in him. Jesus saw him as a man with a pure heart. What a complement from God himself!

St. Bartholomew was the first apostle to profess that Jesus was the "Son of God" and "the King of Israel." Jesus even promised Nathanael that he would see more than he could imagine . He will see angels ascending and decending from heaven. Could that have happened at the Ascension?

After Jesus ascended into heaven, St. Bartholomew went to spread the Good News about Jesus to India, Ethiopia, Arabia, Mesopotamia, Persia, in what is today's Iraq, Phrygia, Laconia, Asia Minor or Turkey. He made many converts for Christ. His last stop was in Armenia. There he converted King Polymius after curing his daughter of a demon and many angry pagan priests convinced the King to put Bartholomew to death. In that country the customary death penalty was to be flayed or skinned while alive and then beheaded.

The statue above is in the Basilica of St. John Lateran in Rome and a painting of him on the ceiling of the Sistine Chapel in St. Peter's Basilica show him holding his skin.

St. Bartholomew was able to recognize Jesus as the Son of God and he knew that he must spread Jesus' teachings. He met the 'Word made flesh" and had to bring His message to those beyond his homeland.

You, too, can meet the "Word made flesh" at FACE ZBS, our PAPA ZOOM Bible Study every Wednesday. Join us and meet Jesus and let His Words set your heart on fire.

Let us know if you would like to attend our FACE ZBS.


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