Monday, August 24, 2015

Reflection: John 1:45-51

Monday of the 21st Week in Ordinary Time, Feast of St. Bartholomew — John 1:45-51

On this feast of Bartholomew, the Gospel begins with Philip finding Nathanael and telling him: “We have found the one Moses wrote about in the law. The prophets also wrote about this man, Jesus, son of Joseph, from Nazareth.” Nathanael’s response to Philip’s announcement sounds a bit prejudiced. He says to Philip: “Can anything good come from Nazareth?” Apparently Nazareth did not have a good reputation.

Philip persisted and said to Nathanael: “Come and see.” They left to find Jesus. Jesus saw them approaching and said: “Here is a true child of Israel. He has no guile or duplicity in him!” Nathanael came toward Jesus and asked him: “How do you know me?” Jesus told him that he had seen him under a fig tree. Nathanael was astounded at Jesus’ insight. Then Nathanael made his profession of faith: “Rabbi, you are the Son of God! You are the King of Israel.” Jesus asked him: “Do you believe this simply because I told you I saw you under the fig tree? Truly, you will see much greater things! You will witness the heavens being opened and you will see angels ascending and descending on the Son of Man.”

Today if we spend some time with Jesus, we also may hear him say to us: “Here is a true child of Israel!” However, we may or may not have a heart as pure as Nathanael did. Yet we are children of God. And we are called by Jesus just as Nathanael was called. What will our response be? Will we trust Jesus and decide to follow him? Or will we waffle with fear or anxiety?

All of us have been created as a “child of God.” How do we respond to Jesus’ knowing of us? Will we decide to go on our merry way? Or will we make the same decision Nathanael made and follow Jesus? Each and every day we need to make this decision. It is easy to veer off the path if we are not vigilant. There are many temptations and commitments in our lives that may invite us to stray from the path of following Jesus. Be mindful today and every day. Jesus is calling us!

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