Ps 145:10-11, 12-13, 17-18
Your friends make known, O Lord, the glorious splendor of your Kingdom.
FEAST OF ST. BARTHOLOMEW, APOSTLE
Psalter: Proper / (Red)
1st Reading: Rev 21:9b-14
And he said, “Come, I am going to show you the bride, the wife of the Lamb.” He took me up in a spiritual vision to a very high mountain and he showed me the holy city Jerusalem, coming down out of heaven from God. It shines with the glory of God, like a precious jewel with the color of crystal-clear jasper.
Its wall, large and high, has twelve gates; stationed at them are twelve angels. Over the gates are written the names of the twelve tribes of the sons of Israel. Three gates face the east; three gates face the north; three gates face the south and three face the west. The city wall stands on twelve foundation stones on which are written the names of the twelve apostles of the Lamb.
Gospel: Jn 1:45-51
Philip found Nathanael and said to him, “We have found the one that Moses wrote about in the Law, and the prophets as well: he is Jesus, son of Joseph, from Nazareth.”
Nathanael replied, “Can anything good come from Nazareth?” Philip said to him, “Come and see.” When Jesus saw Nathanael coming, he said of him, “Here comes an Israelite, a true one; there is nothing false in him.” Nathanael asked him, “How do you know me?” And Jesus said to him, “Before Philip called you, you were under the fig tree and I saw you.”
Nathanael answered, “Master, you are the Son of God! You are the King of Israel!” But Jesus replied, “You believe because I said: ‘I saw you under the fig tree.’ But you will see greater things than that.
Truly, I say to you, you will see the heavens opened and the angels of God ascending and descending upon the Son of Man.”
Nathanael combines two attitudes which we rarely meet together but which actually represent the ideal for anyone in search of the truth: he is both critical and open-minded. When Nathanael reacts to Philip’s grand claims of having found the Messiah by the rejoinder, “Can anything good come from Nazareth,” he is merely being critical. He neither rejects out of hand his friend’s claim (which would be pure, unfounded skepticism, since he has not looked as yet into the matter), nor does he accept it unquestionably (which would amount to being gullible). He merely manifests a healthy doubt, which in the circumstances is the right attitude to adopt.
On the other hand, he does follow Philip’s suggestion to “come and see,” which shows that he has an open mind. Although Philip’s story is almost unbelievable, Nathanael does in fact agree to check it out.
All this is confirmed by Jesus’ warm praise of Nathanael: “Here comes an Israelite, a true one; there is nothing false in him.” In other words, Jesus is saying in a Semitic turn of phrase that Nathanael is an honest man.
Honesty and critical open-mindedness are still the best attitudes for anyone interested in finding the truth.
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