Monday, August 24, 2015

Do you easily believe what the media says about the Church or do you, like Nathanael, inquire? - Daily Reflections August 24,2015

Why does the Church offer a Gospel that tells about the meeting of Jesus with young Nathanael on the feast of the Apostle Bartholomew?
       That can easily be explained when we know what Bartholomew means. In the original language, it is Bar Tolmai, which means “son of Tolmai.” In other words, it is a family name. So, who is this son of Tolmai?
       In the lists of the Apostles, Bartholomew is always mentioned immediately after Philip, who brought his friend Nathanael to Jesus. No wonder, old traditions claim that the full name of this Apostle was Nathanael Bar Tolmai.
       Philip told Nathanael that he had discovered the long-promised Messiah in Jesus from Nazareth. But Nathanael doubted and did not believe. Philip was wise. He did not argue. He simply said, “Come and see!”
       The only way to convince somebody of the primacy of Christ is to confront him with Christ: Come and see! Of course, we have to know Christ ourselves before we can invite others to come to Him.
       Nathanael came and Jesus said, “Here is a genuine Israelite, a man in whose heart there is no guile.” Nathanael was surprised and asked how Jesus could possibly know him. Jesus told him that he had seen him under the fig tree.
       What does this mean? To the Jews the fig tree always stood for prayer and meditation. No doubt Nathanael had meditated under the fig tree and had prayed for the coming of the Messiah. And now, he felt that Jesus had seen into the very depths of his heart. Nathanael Bartholomew was an honest young man. He didn’t believe blindly what others said. He inquired.
       The critical open-mindedness and honesty of young Nathanael is still the best attitude for anyone interested in finding the truth. With his willingness to “go and see,” with a thirst for the truth and basic honesty, we will always find the truth — and find God. Fr. Rudy Horst, SVD
REFLECTION QUESTION: Do you easily believe what the media says about the Church or do you, like Nathanael, inquire?
Lord, please give me the gift of discernment and the eagerness to find out the truth before believing what I hear.

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