The Gospel According to John (1:45-51)
Philip found Nathanael and told him, “We have found the one Moses wrote about in the Law, and about whom the prophets also wrote—Jesus of Nazareth, the son of Joseph.” “Nazareth! Can anything good come from there?” Nathanael asked. “Come and see,” said Philip. When Jesus saw Nathanael approaching, he said of him, “Here truly is an Israelite in whom there is no deceit.” “How do you know me?” Nathanael asked. Jesus answered, “I saw you while you were still under the fig tree before Philip called you.” Then Nathanael declared, “Rabbi, you are the Son of God; you are the king of Israel.” Jesus said, “You believe because I told you I saw you under the fig tree. You will see greater things than that.” He then added, “Very truly I tell you, you will see Heaven open, and the angels of God ascending and descending on the Son of Man.”
Reflection: No one is born with prejudicesbuilt into their personalities. They are a learned response. We learn them from our parents, the people we grew up with and the culture that we lived in or live in. We can choose to let them take over our minds and attitudes or not!
When we get to know new people in our day to day encounters the question of ‘where did you grow up’ is always a good start to learning about someone. Do we let that influence our opinion right away or do we wait till we get to know that individual? Sometimes we get a good feeling about someone at the initial encounter, sometimes it just clicks. Like the first time you meet the person you will eventually fall in love with and marry.
How did you learn about Jesus? What was your first impression? Did you ‘click’ with Him, or have you grown to love Him over time? The more you get to know someone’s true self is the key. The difference, as we have read in today’s gospel, is that Jesus already knows all about Nathaniel or later becomes known as Saint Bartholomew. Despite his initial doubt, Nathaniel, opens his heart to encounter the truth about Jesus. Jesus can and does enter immediately into any soul that is open to “come and see”. Imagine the great pleasure and rest the Lord takes in souls of this type.
Action of the Day: Fr. Richard Rohr tells us that ultimately, we do not earn or find God. We just allow ourselves to get out of the way, and He will find us. The next time you sit in your space and pray, allow yourself to “just be”, and perhaps you will find a closer relationship with God.