August 24, 2013

The Gospel Today

Feast of Saint Bartholomew, Apostle

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.”

Reflection (Sem. Jorge Santiago):

            I don’t know how many times I already read and reflected on this Gospel since I entered the seminary. I have read it in meal sharing, website reflection and even in our homiletics class. I always focus on the reaction of Nathaniel when he heard the news about Jesus whom Moses wrote in the law. “Can anything good come from Nazareth?” Knowing the background of the people in Nazareth, he might be amazed or surprised to hear that someone, that is great would come out from that place. If I would put my feet in Nathaniel’s shoes, I would think almost the same and would probably ask Philip the same question.

            But reading again this Gospel surprised me when my attention shifted to Philip. When he found Jesus as the one Moses wrote in the law, he never had questions in his mind, he immediately looked for Nathaniel to share the good news. I found Philip to be excited the way he was described in the Gospel. He did not even answer the question of Nathaniel ‘can anything good come from Nazareth? but instead he asked him to come and see for himself.

            Believing in the experience of others about Jesus sometimes makes us like Nathaniel, being doubtful at first then eventually came to believe. Also, it sometimes makes us like Philip, that even though we do not understand it yet, we immediately believe of what we have heard. It is not enough that we experienced it by ourselves, we tag along someone that is important to us to witness and experience Jesus, too.

            In our daily experience, let us be like Nathaniel and more so like Philip who became so excited knowing the news about Jesus. This excitement should not be kept in ourselves but must be shared with others. Let us make Jesus known and loved!

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