Rev. 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. A man with whom Philip shared the news of having discovered Jesus of Nazareth. Bartholomew on his part did not hide his deep-seated convictions regarding Nazareth as a whole. “Can anything good come out of that town?” Without mincing words, this statement must have been very discouraging. When I try to talk about Jesus to others, I should not expect that they would accept what I have to say hook, line, and sinker. I would be a dreamer to assume that they would immediately say “Yes, Yes, Yes, I believe.”
When you tell people about something new, their first reaction is usually negative. Negative because it is a natural human tendency to suspect that which you don’t know anything about. Negative also because of the lies you must have probably told them in the past. Negative too, because of the manner you present it or perhaps because there is not much passion in you.
Imagine a native doctor who appears wretched, poor, and sickly coming out in a busy market advertising a product that he calls the ultimate secret to wealth. Funny? Right. If he knows how to be rich, then why is he still poor? Who is he trying to fool? Philip wasn’t discouraged by Bartholomew’s reaction. He didn’t write him off. Instead, he said: “Come and see.” When Bartholomew eventually became an Apostle himself, he must have remembered this experience many times and used the same strategy in spreading the Good News.
Bartholomew was touched merely by the fact that Jesus saw him under the fig tree. He was convinced immediately that only a Son of God could have known he was under a fig tree at that time. What was he doing under the fig tree? Could it be that Jesus was saying: “Young man, I know your secret oh.” Anyway, we would not be celebrating him today if he did not stick to Jesus and remain with him to death.
The way and manner we become converted vary. Some people’s conversions were rather dramatic, some not so. The “how” is not so important. What matters is that at some point in our lives, we become true Christians, true followers of Jesus, and fully convinced about Jesus. And one way we know we are converted is when we stopped being shy about spreading the Good News.
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: Rev. 21:9-14, Ps. 145:10-13a,17-18, John 1:45-51).
© Rev. Fr. Evaristus Abu