Today we honor the Apostle Bartholomew who was also called Nathaniel. He was a true Israelite in whom there was no guile. How about you, are you free of guile?
The first reading gives us a view of the Holy City. Its twelve gates bore the names of the twelve sons of Jacob. The twelve courses of stones in its wall bore the names of the twelve Apostles. So constructed, the Heavenly Jerusalem stood for the one people of God that spanned both Testaments.
The heavenly Jerusalem is beautifully evoked in the late Victorian song “The Holy City.” If the song doesn’t rank high with esthetes, I’d hope they would not mind my being thrilled by it.
“I heard the children singing, and ever as they sang, me thought the voice of angels from heaven in answer rang.”
“The sun grew dark with mystery, the morn was cold and chill as the shadow of a cross arose upon a lonely hill.”
The gates were opened wide, and all who would might enter, and no one was denied.”
“It was the New Jerusalem, that would not pass away.”