Saint of the Day for August 24
(b. 1st century)
Saint Bartholomew’s Story
In the New Testament, Bartholomew is mentioned only in the lists of the apostles. Some scholars identify him with Nathanael, a man of Cana in Galilee who was summoned to Jesus by Philip. Jesus paid him a great compliment: “Here is a true Israelite. There is no duplicity in him” (John 1:47b). When Nathanael asked how Jesus knew him, Jesus said, “I saw you under the fig tree” (John 1:48b). Whatever amazing revelation this involved, it brought Nathanael to exclaim, “Rabbi, you are the Son of God; you are the King of Israel” (John 1:49b). But Jesus countered with, “Do you believe because I told you that I saw you under the fig tree? You will see greater things than this” (John 1:50b).
Nathanael did see greater things. He was one of those to whom Jesus appeared on the shore of the Sea of Tiberias after his resurrection …Read More
Reflection from Bishop Robert Barron
Friends, in today’s Gospel Nathaniel declares to Jesus, “Rabbi, you are the Son of God; you are the King of Israel.” Nathaniel is also called Bartholomew, whose feast day we are celebrating.
Anglican Scripture scholar N.T. Wright has told us that when a first-century Jew spoke of the arrival of God’s kingdom, he was taken to mean something very specific. He was announcing that the Temple was going to be restored; that the proper worship of Yahweh would obtain; that the enemies of Israel would be dealt with; and that, above all, the tribes of the Lord—and through them, the tribes of the world—would be gathered.
This is why Jesus chose twelve disciples, evocative of the twelve tribes. They would be the prototype and the catalyst for the gathering of Israel and hence the gathering of everyone. They would be the fundamental community and sign of unity.