Feast of St. Bartholomew, Apostle

by FLL Editorial Team

若望福音 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.”
John 1:45-51

Today, the Church celebrates the feast of St. Bartholomew. In the Gospel of John, he was called Nathanael. When Philip told him that he had found Jesus to be the Messiah, we can imagine him shrugging his shoulders as he said: "Can anything good come from Nazareth?" He had absolutely no expectation for anyone who came from that place. But due to Philip's invitation, he went to take a look.

Nathanael is pretty similar to Peter. Once he realized Jesus' identity, he proclaimed at once that Jesus is the Son of God. We see that Philip did done something extremely important, he introduced Jesus to his good friend who looked down on Nazareth. If not for his words: "Come and see", it might take Nathanael a lot more time before he came to know Jesus.

Jesus gave Nathanael a pretty strong compliment: "There is no duplicity in him." This means he was honest and genuine. He would not use flattering speech. Let us also reflect our own words and actions, would Jesus also say the same thing to us? If we fall short, let us pray for Jesus' forgiveness and assistance, that we could get the same compliment that Nathanael once got.

Tradition holds that St. Bartholomew was flayed alive and crucified, according to another tradition, he was beheaded. St. Bartholomew is often shown with a large knife, holding his own skin, or both.

St. Bartholomew, pray for us!