Nathaniel was a true Israelite in whom there was no guile.


Wednesday, 8/24/11

Today is the feast of the Apostle Nathaniel; and since his father’s name was Tolmeus, he was also known as the son of Tolmeus, or Bartholomew. All we know about him comes from this brief appearance in Chapter One of John’s Gospel where Jesus told him, “Before Philip called you, I saw you under the fig tree.”

Nathaniel had been visible to know no one but God when he was lost in prayer under that fig tree. If Jesus saw him, Jesus must be God, so Nathaniel blurted out, “You are the Son of God. You are the King of Israel.”

This strange exchange between Jesus and Nathaniel concludes with Jesus calling Nathaniel a "True Israelite in whom there is no deception.”

Two days ago, on Monday In this homily blog I mentioned how three days a week I use the first chapter of John’s Gospel for the mysteries of my rosary. My first five mysteries are about God who was in the beginning. The next five are on the Word who became flesh.

My eleventh mystery takes up Jesus asking Andrew and John what they were looking for. My twelfth mystery is their spending the night in his company. For my thirteenth mystery, when Jesus called Simon the Rock on which he will build his Church, I check myself on my obedience to Church authority.

For my fourteenth mystery I come to this passage about Nathaniel where Jesus praising him for having no deception. It always makes me check myself on being honest. For the fifteenth mystery Jesus at the banquet in Cana makes me think of the heavenly banquet, and my firm belief in it.

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