Read Apocalypse 21:9-14, Ps. 145:10-13a,17-18, John 1:45-51

“Nathanael said to him, “Can anything good come out of Nazareth?” Philip said to him, “Come and see.” (John 1:46)

Today, we celebrate the feast of St. Bartholomew, otherwise known as Nathanael. Philip told him that they had found Jesus of Nazareth. He did not believe the Messiah could come from a place like Nazareth. Bartholomew said: “Can anything good come out of that town?”

Philip wasn’t discouraged by Bartholomew’s reaction. Philip did not even try to argue with Bartholomew. He said to him: “Come and see.” In our efforts to spread the Good News, we would encounter many people like Bartholomew; people already have strong opinions or beliefs about what we are about to tell them. For instance, some believe that Christianity is colonialism. Some think that Catholics do not read the Bible and so on. There is no need to argue with them. We only need to say to them: “Come and see.” Let Jesus do the talking.

Philip did not waste time arguing with Bartholomew because he knew that after encountering Jesus, Bartholomew would never remain the same. When Jesus saw Bartholomew coming, Jesus called him by his name. Bartholomew wondered: “How do you know me?” Jesus added: “Before Philip came to call you, I saw you under the fig tree.”

Bartholomew confessed: “You are the Son of God, the King of Israel.” Like Thomas, who spoke similar words after touching the hands and feet of Jesus after the resurrection, Bartholomew saw with his eyes and believed. Jesus told him, “You will see greater things than this.”

As we celebrate the feast of St. Bartholomew, let us take some moments to recall our conversion experience. How did you come to know Jesus? What convinced you that Jesus is God? Have you had a one-on-one encounter with Jesus? Are you holding on to your confession of faith in Jesus like Bartholomew, who described Jesus as the Son of God and the King of Israel?

In today’s First Reading, John gives us a glimpse of what Jesus was referring to when he told Bartholomew: “You will see greater things than this.” Just as Jesus revealed his identity to Bartholomew, Jesus continues to reveal himself to us today. However, all we have to do is to “come and see.” Do not think that you know everything already; grow above your prejudice. Something good can come out of Nazareth.

Bartholomew remained a strong disciple of Jesus after this encounter. He never looked back; he never stopped following Jesus, even when this meant carrying the heavy cross of martyrdom. Today, we celebrate Bartholomew as one whose blood became the seed of the Christian faith that continues to grow. We pray that, like Bartholomew, we may remain convinced about Jesus.

Let us pray: Almighty ever-living God, use me as your instrument of salvation. Through Christ our Lord. Amen.

Be Happy. Live Positive. Have Faith. It is well with you. God bless you. (Saint Bartholomew, Apostle – Feast. Bible Study: Apocalypse 21:9-14, Ps. 145:10-13a,17-18, John 1:45-51).

@Rev. Fr. Evaristus E. Abu