August 24, 2018
(St. Bartholomew, Apostle)
Jesus saw Nathanael coming toward him and said of him, “Here is a true child of Israel. 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.” . . .
Jesus said to Nathanael, “Amen, amen, I say to you, you will see heaven opened and the angels of God ascending and descending on the Son of Man.” Jn_1:45-51
Nathanael, aka Bartholomew, was a man of faith, a man of truth, a man of peace. For when Jesus saw him sitting under a fig tree, it was a prophetic witness for those who sit in security and peace. It was the promise that Israel would one day realize when its Savior would come. Nathanael didn’t think that anyone could have seen him there under that tree, and yet, Jesus did! And it was that little sign that convinced Nathanael that Jesus was the Messiah, the promised One.
Jesus responded to Nathanael, saying that if he thought that was cool, it wasn’t a smidgen of what he would see in the very near future. The reference to angels ascending and descending was a direct inference to the famous dream of their forefather Jacob, who would later be renamed Israel, who saw, what we call today “the Stairway to Heaven”. And the gateway to that stairway or ladder, is Jesus, the Son of Man.
Jesus IS our gateway as well. It is through Him, that we can live a better life today (in His Kingdom) and are promised “eternal life” in the glorious Kingdom of His Father and the Holy Spirit after our days in the flesh are complete.
As the days progressed, Bartholomew did witness many divine events in the life of Jesus, culminating with His death, resurrection and ascension. The faith, the truth and the peace of Bartholomew led him straight into the hands of an evil world, just like Jesus, where that flesh of his was abominably destroyed.
You see, beloved, evil does have a face, and we see its impact on innocent and holy people every day. It calls us to prayer! Pray that we never have to come face to face with it, and that God will protect and bless us and our neighbor if that day ever does come to us. For those to whom it does come, we pray that one day we can embrace one another, under the fig tree in the Kingdom that Jesus promised to all His faithful! It will!
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