Daily Reflection
of Creighton University's Online Ministries
August 24th, 2011
Chas Kestermeier, S.J.

English Department
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Feast of St. Bartholomew
[629] Revelation 21:9-14
Psalm 145:10-13, 17-18
John 1:45-51

In John's gospel there is a very strong theme of what I might call "heralding": people meet and get to know Jesus in a rather personal interaction, no matter how briefly that might be, and they spread the word of their experience.  The Samaritan Woman is a good example of this, but it is also evident in the first chapter of this gospel: Jesus comes to His own, His own recognize Him, and they spread the Good News.

The narrative section of John's gospel begins when John the Baptist proclaims Jesus' true identity.  Two of his disciples hear what he says and approach Jesus, who invites them to spend some time with Him; the next morning Andrew goes to find his brother Simon, who also comes to Jesus.  Then Jesus calls Phillip, who goes to announce the coming of Jesus to Nathaniel. 

Nathaniel (John's name for Bartholomew; it means "El has given") is the last in this series.  Jesus reveals an intimate knowledge of Nathaniel, whom this revelation transforms.  John shows Jesus giving no new role or mission to Nathaniel, no more than He does for Simon, but Nathaniel does become a "disciple," a student or seeker, and eventually an "apostle," one who is sent....

What about me?  Who told me about Jesus?  How did they do that?  Do I pray for them in gratitude?  And do I in turn actively share my faith with others?

Does the fact that Jesus watches over me and knows me intimately transform my life?  Do I feel that the promise to Nathaniel applies to me as well?  Do I see my connection with God as being Jesus, see the heavens opened to me and see the angels ascending and descending on the Son of Man? 

And just what role or mission comes from my own meeting Jesus?  Who do I inform of the gift that is Jesus, and how do I do that?  Could I be better at it?  Do I ask the Father and the Spirit for help? 

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