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Thursday, August 24, 2006

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St. Bartholomew

Revelation 21:9-14
Psalm 145
John 1:45-51

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"You will see much greater things than that." —John 1:50

The first time we encounter Nathanael (also called Bartholomew) is in John's Gospel. Nathanael is prejudiced. He insults Jesus even before he meets Him (Jn 1:46). Jesus nonetheless opens up Nathanael by a word of supernatural knowledge (Jn 1:48). Nathanael responds by confessing Jesus as Son of God and King of Israel (Jn 1:49). Jesus has begun His work in Nathanael's life.

Nathanael accompanies Jesus for three years in His preaching, deliverance, and healing ministry. Finally, Nathanael sins grievously by abandoning Jesus when He was arrested and put to death (Mk 14:50). Three days later, Nathanael sees Jesus risen from the dead (Jn 20:19). However, this does not affect Nathanael much. With Peter, Nathanael goes back to fishing, until Jesus awakens him with the miraculous catch of fish (Jn 21:2ff). Even this has no permanent effect.

Finally, Nathanael receives the Holy Spirit at the first Pentecost (Acts 2:4). Jesus' work immediately bears fruit. Nathanael is a changed man, a new man, a great missionary to the nations, and a foundation-stone of the new Jerusalem (Rv 21:14). With Nathanael, "receive the Holy Spirit" (Jn 20:22), receive new life (Jn 10:10), and change the world for Jesus.

Prayer:  Jesus, thank You for turning a bigot into a Spirit-filled apostle and missionary. Transform me as well.

Promise:  "I solemnly assure you, you shall see the sky opened and the angels of God ascending and descending on the Son of Man." —Jn 1:51

Praise:  St. Bartholomew changed from being cynical about Jesus' hometown roots to bearing so much love for others that he spread the love of God to India, Lycaonia, and Armenia.

Reference:  (It is always the right time for a new Pentecost. Order our tape Pentecost Novena on audio AV 103-1 or video V-103.) .

Rescript:  †Most Reverend Carl K. Moeddel, Vicar General and Auxiliary Bishop of the Archdiocese of Cincinnati, February 26, 2006

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