Homily (Reflection) for the Feast of Saint Bartholomew, Ap. (24th August, 2019) on the Gospel and the Feast
Ps 144:10-13.17-18. (R. cf. v. 12);
Saint Bartholomew, born at Cana in Galilee, (cf. Jn 21:2) was mentioned in the synoptic gospels and Acts of the Apostles as one of the twelve apostles, cf. Matt 10:3; Mk 3:18; Lk 6:14; Acts 1:13. Scholars believe he is the same as Nathaniel mentioned in the gospel according to Saint John, of whom Jesus said “Here is truly an Israelite in whom there is no deceit!” (Jn 1:47). According to Roman Martyrology, he preached in India, Mesopotamia, Persia, Egypt, and Greater Armenia, where he was flayed and beheaded by King Astyages.
Topic: We are merely channels.
In today’s gospel, Philip found Nathaniel and said to him, “We have found him about whom Moses in the law and also the prophets wrote, Jesus son of Joseph from Nazareth.” He queried, “Can anything good come out of Nazareth?” Philip simply answered, “Come and see.” This simple invitation led him to exclaim, “Rabbi, you are the Son of God! You are the King of Israel!”
Philip only invited Bartholomew to come and experience Jesus. He only served as a channel through which the gospel reached him. On the contrary, we often create bigger problems trying to convince others. Many are professional and international liars all in the name of preaching the gospel. However, when one looks closely one thing is always clear, either the disciples are for themselves or for the father of lies, and never for Christ, cf. Jn 8:44.
As we celebrate Saint Bartholomew, it is important to remind ourselves that we have only one teacher and that we all are brothers and sisters, cf. Matt 23:8. The work of spreading the Good News is God’s. We are only mere instruments. Hence, Saint Paul acknowledged, “I planted, Apollos watered, but God gave the growth” (1Cor 3:6). Losing sight of this brings about divisions which is contrary to the mind of Christ, cf. Jn 17:21. We ought to take others to Christ who is our Teacher and Master, never to ourselves or the devil, cf. Matt 10:24-25.
Bible Reading: Matt 11:25-30.
Thought for today: Bring people to the Master.
Let us pray: May God almighty give us the grace to know Him better – Amen.
Saint Bartholomew – Pray for us.
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