From a Creighton Student's Perspective
August 24, 2012
Mary Claire McGlynn
Sophomore, History Major with a Specialization in International Relations
And today we learn something from St. Bartholomew (a.k.a. Nathanael). Through the first reading and the psalm response, Bartholomew gets built up high. One of the twelve foundation stones of the wall of paradise is inscribed with his name. As one of Christ’s friends, he makes God’s glorious splendor known. And when we get to the Gospel what does he do?
He says nothing good can come from Galilee. Nathanael sounds like any close-minded person we may know. He puts limitations on what he expects the people around him are capable of. He has decided who is and who is not worthy of his respect.
At first glance, he doesn’t sound like much of a saint.
But I think Bartholomew’s initial weakness actually makes him more heroic. Nathanael was willing to admit he was wrong. This is huge. He doesn’t say Galileans catch some pretty impressive fish; he professes that one Galilean is, in fact, the Son of Man.
We aren’t so different than Bartholomew. We have imposed limitations on the people around us. At the personal level, there are people we expect very little from. That guy at work, our one sister, the cousin we don’t talk to, the person we remember because he was a jerk at age 16, or a friend who consistently lets us down: these are people we’ve given up on.
Bartholomew was willing to admit he was wrong. He was willing to follow Philip, to keep an open mind. When we are receptive of the people around us, when we refuse to give up on those who disappoint us those people can surprise us. When we treat others with the dignity they deserve, we open ourselves up for new experiences: experiences that can be transformative.
“The wall of the city had twelve courses of stones as its foundation,
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