Philip found Nathaniel 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 Nathaniel said to him, "Can anything good
come from Nazareth?" Philip said to him, "Come and
see." Jesus saw Nathaniel coming toward him and said of
him, "Here is a true Israelite. There is no
duplicity in him.” Nathaniel 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." Nathaniel 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 the sky opened and the angels
of God ascending and descending on the Son of
Introductory Prayer: Lord, I believe in your wondrous
shining glory, although this is hidden from my eyes. I
hope in the peace and everlasting joy of the
world to come, for this world is a valley of
tears. I love you, even though I am not
always able to discern the love in your intentions when
you permit me to suffer. You are my God
and my all.
Petition: Lord, increase my intimacy with you.
The Call: It is traditionally understood that the Nathaniel
St. John refers to is St. Bartholomew the apostle.
Nathaniel, like all of us, receives a call to be
an apostle. In Nathaniel’s case, the call does not
come directly from Jesus, but through a mediator, Philip,
who testifies to him who Jesus is. At first Nathaniel
doubts, but he does not totally reject the idea
and goes to meet Jesus. Christ calls many of
us through a mediator: a friend, relative, consecrated person, etc.
Even though there may be doubts, as long as
there is some opening in us, Christ is able to
work and draw us closer to himself.
Profession of Faith: Nathaniel’s contact with Christ results in a
profession of faith, “Rabbi, you are the Son of
God; you are the King of Israel.” Here there is
no doubt or skepticism. The encounter with Christ produces
a clear and firm affirmation. Philip, the intermediary, drops
out of the picture and Nathaniel has a direct
and strong personal relationship with Christ. Nathaniel becomes a
convinced apostle. So too, even though we may have come
to Christ through intermediaries, we gradually begin to base
our faith on our own personal experience of Christ.
Greater Things: Nathaniel – St. Bartholomew – went on to
become one of the Twelve Apostles. Tradition has it
that he preached the Gospel in India and Armenia
where he died a martyr, flayed alive and beheaded. No
doubt it was his insight of faith, his perception
of the greater things that gave him the strength and
fortitude to preach the Gospel and die a martyr.
From his first simple encounter with Christ he became
a great saint who lived his life in profound
union with God.
Petition: Lord, I know that
sometimes I can be a skeptic, not trusting that you
can transform my life. So often I have these
simple prayerful dialogues with you; please help me so that
these small conversations can blossom into a firm profession
of faith and a tenacious apostolic zeal.
I will pray the Creed sometime during the
day to renew my faith in Christ.