Friday, August 23, 2013

Saint Bartholomew, Apostle "How Does He Know Me?"

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 Israelite. 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 the sky opened and the angels of God ascending and descending on the Son of Man." (John 1: 45-51)

Introductory Prayer:Lord, You know all things. You know my inmost thoughts and secret desires. You know my qualities and defects. As St. Peter said, “Lord, You know all things.” Help me to be sincere before you, especially when I approach the sacrament of confession or when I come before those who can help bring me closer to you. May it be said of me too: “In him there is no duplicity.”

Petition:Give me the courage to cleanse my heart Lord so that I may never complain that I cannot find you. Help me to see that it is not you who hide from me, but rather, I who choose not to look for you.

1. Authenticity, an increasingly rare virtue It is true that very holy people can delve into the interior of a soul with a single glance. It was exceptionally true with Christ. One look at Nathanael and He already had him sized up: “There is no duplicity in him.” There is something special about a sincere person. Even those have not achieved a high degree of holiness can easily spot them. You’ve seen the type before. They are people whom at first glance you know you can trust. You know that “what you see is what you get.” These sincere souls have magnetic personalities. They are extremely joyful and peaceful even though they occasionally pass through moments of turbulence. Sincerity gives us stability, peace of soul, and a solid foundation on which to build our spiritual edifice.

2. Blessed are the pure of heart, for they shall see God If it is true that the sincere are easily spotted, it is equally true that the sincere can easily spot the truth and recognize it: Without hearing a discourse or witnessing a single miracle of Christ’s, Nathanael would say, “Rabbi, you are the Son of God; you are the King of Israel.” Those who are sincere are aware that they are creatures with a limited intelligence. They recognize their own blind spots and prejudices, and they don’t let these limitations cloud their vision of the transcendent reality before them. They don’t need many physical proofs because the Holy Spirit blesses them with a higher power, a spiritual intuition capable of recognizing God’s hand and presence where it exists.

3. A Light for the World We can be amazed at the wisdom of simple folk with profound faith. Christ promises that the sincere will see great things. It only makes sense that God will show them great things since they can be trusted to spread the Word without fear or duplicity. They put no conditions on their discipleship. “Well done, my good and faithful servant. I could entrust you with smaller things, now I will entrust you with greater.” Bearing God’s message often makes us enemies of this world. Yet a sincere soul will be ready to suffer isolation and rejection because he is always aware that he is simply a creature of God and that his best bet is to rely on God’s plan and providence in everything.

Dialogue with Christ: Lord, you call me to your company of intimate friends even though you see all of my weaknesses. I am humbled by how much you trust in me. I know my weaknesses. I am in awe of your grace, which will enable me to do anything you ask.

Resolution: I will try to be more sincere with my spouse or parents today.

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