When we feel anguish, when we have a sense that we do not know who we are, a sense of being profoundly lonely, we become afraid. We can be willing to give up a lot — friendships, communication, even intimacy — so as to protect ourselves from the feeling of being "nobody," the suffering of loneliness, our anguish. It is only when we can see this in ourselves that we can discover freedom from our compulsions. It is only when we begin to recognize the cry of our own hearts that we can respond to the cry of God to be in relationship with us.
–from the book Life's Great Questions
✞ "A soul which does not practise the exercise of prayer is very like a paralyzed body which, though possessing feet and hands, makes no use of them." — St. Alphonsus Liguori
✞ MEDITATION OF THE DAY
"Oh, what awesome mysteries take place during Mass! One day we will know what God is doing for us in each Mass, and what sort of gift He is preparing in it for us. Only His divine love could permit that such a gift be provided for us. O Jesus, my Jesus, with what great pain is my soul pierced when I see this fountain of life gushing forth with such sweetness and power for each soul, while at the same time I see souls withering away and drying up through their own fault. O Jesus, grant that the power of mercy embrace these souls." — St. Maria Faustina Kowalska, 914 AN EXCERPT FROM Diary of St. Faustina
✞ VERSE OF THE DAY
"But it is for you, O Lord, that I wait; it is you, O Lord my God, who will answer." Psalm 38:15
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Saint of the Day for August 24
(b. 1st century)
In the New Testament, Bartholomew is mentioned only in the lists of the apostles. Some scholars identify him with Nathanael, a man of Cana in Galilee who was summoned to Jesus by Philip. Jesus paid him a great compliment: "Here is a true Israelite. There is no duplicity in him" (John 1:47b). When Nathanael asked how Jesus knew him, Jesus said, "I saw you under the fig tree" (John 1:48b). Whatever amazing revelation this involved, it brought Nathanael to exclaim, "Rabbi, you are the Son of God; you are the King of Israel" (John 1:49b). But Jesus countered with, "Do you believe because I told you that I saw you under the fig tree? You will see greater things than this" (John 1:50b).
Nathanael did see greater things. He was one of those to whom Jesus appeared on the shore of the Sea of Tiberias after his resurrection (see John 21:1-14). They had been fishing all night without success. In the morning, they saw someone standing on the shore though no one knew it was Jesus. He told them to cast their net again, and they made so great a catch that they could not haul the net in. Then John cried out to Peter, "It is the Lord."
When they brought the boat to shore, they found a fire burning, with some fish laid on it and some bread. Jesus asked them to bring some of the fish they had caught, and invited them to come and eat their meal. John relates that although they knew it was Jesus, none of the apostles presumed to inquire who he was. This, John notes, was the third time Jesus appeared to the apostles.
Bartholomew or Nathanael? We are confronted again with the fact that we know almost nothing about most of the apostles. Yet the unknown ones were also foundation stones, the 12 pillars of the new Israel whose 12 tribes now encompass the whole earth. Their personalities were secondary–without thereby being demeaned–to their great office of bearing tradition from their firsthand experience, speaking in the name of Jesus, putting the Word Made Flesh into human words for the enlightenment of the world. Their holiness was not an introverted contemplation of their status before God. It was a gift that they had to share with others. The Good News was that all are called to the holiness of being Christ's members, by the gracious gift of God.
The simple fact is that humanity is totally meaningless unless God is its total concern. Then humanity, made holy with God's own holiness, becomes the most precious creation of God.
Saint Bartholomew is the Patron Saint of:
Feast of Saint Bartholomew, Apostle
Reading 1 Rv 21:9b-14
The angel spoke to me, saying, "Come here. I will show you the bride, the wife of the Lamb." He took me in spirit to a great, high mountain and showed me the holy city Jerusalem coming down out of heaven from God. It gleamed with the splendor of God. Its radiance was like that of a precious stone, like jasper, clear as crystal. It had a massive, high wall, with twelve gates where twelve angels were stationed and on which names were inscribed, the names of the twelve tribes of the children of Israel. There were three gates facing east, three north, three south, and three west. The wall of the city had twelve courses of stones as its foundation, on which were inscribed the twelve names of the twelve Apostles of the Lamb.
Responsorial Psalm Ps 145:10-11, 12-13, 17-18 R. (12) Your friends make known, O Lord, the glorious splendor of your Kingdom. Let all your works give you thanks, O LORD, and let your faithful ones bless you. Let them discourse of the glory of your Kingdom and speak of your might. R. Your friends make known, O Lord, the glorious splendor of your Kingdom. Making known to men your might and the glorious splendor of your Kingdom. Your Kingdom is a Kingdom for all ages, and your dominion endures through all generations. R. Your friends make known, O Lord, the glorious splendor of your Kingdom. The LORD is just in all his ways and holy in all his works. The LORD is near to all who call upon him, to all who call upon him in truth. R. Your friends make known, O Lord, the glorious splendor of your Kingdom.
Alleluia Jn 1:49b R. Alleluia, alleluia. Rabbi, you are the Son of God; you are the King of Israel. R. Alleluia, alleluia.
Gospel Jn 1:45-51
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 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." 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 heaven opened and the angels of God ascending and descending on the Son of Man."
Meditation: John 1:45-51
Saint Bartholomew, Apostle (Feast)
Come and see. (John 1:46)
Can you hear the excitement in Philip's voice as he goes to find Nathanael? "We've found him! We've found him!" And yet Nathanael, also known as Bartholomew, is not altogether ready to share in the enthusiasm. "Really? You expect me to believe that the Messiah is from a backwoods town like Nazareth?"
As Nathanael came to get a closer look, Jesus looked into his heart. He didn't rebuke him for being a skeptic or for taking so long to come. He looked past all of that and spoke about the strength of character he saw. This intrigued Nathanael, and he talked more with Jesus until he was convinced that this really was the Messiah.
What a change! Gone is the cynic. Gone is the dreamer, the student sitting under a tree, caught up in his learning. Instead there is a new disciple, a man willing to follow Jesus, a future saint who will come to see heaven opening up for him. Nathanael was so moved by Jesus that after Pentecost he went on to be a bold evangelist. He traveled as far as Armenia, where he is said to have converted the king, Polymius—an act that led to his martyrdom. And to think that it all started when his friend Philip went out to find him.
Many people will tell you that there was someone in their life whose witness had a great impact in their own life of faith. One person reached out to them just where they were and walked beside them, leading them to Jesus. In fact, many saints and Christian thinkers, from St. Augustine to C. S. Lewis, tell us that they owe their faith to someone who, like Philip, invited them to "come and see" (John 1:46).
You, too, can be like Philip. You can tell your friends or family members, "Come and see." It may take just a bit of courage, but the Holy Spirit can provide what you may lack. Remember, God is the One who changes hearts; all you have to do is invite them to come to him. Just bring them to Jesus, and he'll take care of the rest.
"Jesus, give me the courage and the grace to invite people to come and see you."
Revelation 21:9-14 Psalm 145:10-13, 17-18
my2cents: "The angel spoke to me, saying, "Come here." And so John went and saw for himself the wife, beautiful in splendor, the wife of the lamb gleaming, yet the wife wasn't just some building, it was made up of what God desired, all the tribes of the world brought together, back to HIMSELF!
We prayed today "Your friends make known, O Lord, the glorious splendor of your Kingdom. The LORD is just in all his ways and holy in all his works. The LORD is near to all who call upon him, to all who call upon him in truth." Some say "I don't believe in God because of so much evil in the world". To the believer, they say "I believe because I have seen God among so much evil".
And so in the Gospel, Nathaniel or Bartholomew says when invited to see Jesus ""Can anything good come from Nazareth?" yet the one who saw Jesus persisted "Philip said to him, "Come and see." It is always an invitation that makes the difference. Are you making a difference? An invitation? Or how are you treating the invitation to "come and see"? This is why you should always say yes to the Lord because you aren't saying yes to a person, you are saying yes to God, and perhaps then, you will see what He has seen...you praying and finding out that He knows what you were praying about.
A spanish reflection made me realize the words of Jesus in a unique way, because the spanish scripture said in english this way of Nathaniel, "A true Israelite in whom there is no deceit.", but sounded like "in whom there is no lie".
We lie to ourselves way to much, therefore, we are not true to ourselves. We say we can handle this and that (sin), and even physical indulgences, but truth is, we can't. For Nathaniel, it was either he would believe or not. None of this "sort of kind of" belief. No, the belief has to be the kind that will allow you to walk on water. That is faith and never stop. And so Nathaniel had that kind of faith, that would lead to him being slaughtered to death for Christ. We romanticize thinking we believe like this, but do we really? How many of us shy away at prayer, public prayer, or devoting a whole weekend to a retreat? How many of us deny Christ by simply lying about others or insulting others? You see how frivolous our thoughts and beliefs can be? Whishy washy. In the book of Revelation it says that God wants us hot or cold, because He will spit out what is lukewarm, what is neutral, what is no good, or not good. I want to see a determined Christ alive. Determined to make a difference in the world. Determined to let Himself be known. Come to find out, He will be so much like us, yet way different.
Difference is justice which is holiness which is God's true love and true love of God. And this makes all the difference. St. Nathaniel apostle of the Lord Jesus to the end of time....pray for us to have this kind of faith, this kind of love, this kind of belief, this kind of mindset, this kind of heart set on the Messiah, our Savior.