Wednesday, August 24

Lessons from the Saints - Bartholomew/Nathanael

Today is the feast of St. Bartholomew, traditionally identified as Nathanael in the gospel of John.  One of the twelve, the story his Calling is what I would like to consider.

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, "You believe because I told you that I saw you under the fig tree. You will see greater things than this." (Jn. 1:45-50)

What we see here is someone different than Simon Peter (whose calling is just before), who silently follows.  This is a man who has doubts and is skeptical, but is open to the possibility of greatness.  To me, the crux of the verse are those simple words of Philip's, "Come and see".

Not demanding nor cajoling nor even dismissive derision.  "Come and see".  Decide for yourself.   
There is the true Calling.  Come and see.  Decide for yourself what is right.

As we read, of course, Nathanael does come and see and he does decide to follow Jesus.  He believes and that belief shall be rewarded.

I shall leave it as an exercise for the reader to determine how this should apply in our lives today.

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