Meditation for the Day

Feast of Saint Bartholomew, Apostle, August 24

The Faithfulness and Love for Jesus Christ by the Apostles, and Their Devotion to the Truth of the Gospel Message, Are Examples for Each of Us to Follow.

“Here is a true child of Israel. There is no duplicity in him.”

In these few words we hear from our Lord in today’s Gospel, Jesus presents us with the Apostle’s character. In this brief but deeply complimentary statement, Our Lord recognizes that this person is a good Jew, honest and innocent, a just man, who devotes much time to quiet reflection and prayer.

Today, we celebrate the Feast of Saint Bartholomew, one of the original Twelve called by Christ to become Apostles, missionaries taking His teachings to the far reaches of the known world.

In the New Testament, Bartholomew is mentioned only in the lists of the Apostles. Some scholars, however, identify him with Nathanael, a man of Cana in Galilee who was summoned to Jesus by Philip, as we read today, and whose name, Nathanael, is only seen in John’s Gospel.

Our Lord commented that Nathaniel’s faith would be rewarded, and Nathanael, or Bartholomew if you will, did see great things throughout the course of Jesus’ ministry, especially including His Resurrection and Ascension.

We are confronted again with the fact that we know almost nothing about most of the Apostles. Yet the unknown ones were no different from those whom we do know. All were foundational stones, the twelve pillars of the new Israel whose twelve tribes now encompass the entire Earth.

Their personalities were secondary to the mission which they lived – faithfully bringing this new Christian faith to the Gentile communities of their time.

And Bartholomew was no different. As one of the Twelve, he received the respect and admiration due as one of the original members of that tiny group of loyal disciples, called by Christ Himself, who remained faithful and spread the message of Christ to all who would hear and receive God’s Truth.

And tradition tells us that this relatively unknown Apostle carried the Gospel message to Asia Minor, Ethiopia, India and Armenia.

What is it about Saint Bartholomew and all the other Apostles that garners our attention?

Our Lord once spoke these words to His disciples, “Amen, amen, I say to you, unless a grain of wheat falls to the ground and dies, it remains just a grain of wheat; but if it dies, it produces much fruit…Whoever serves me must follow me, and where I am, there also will my servant be.”

Saint Bartholomew was such a servant, chosen by Christ Himself to serve the needs of His new Church, whatever those needs might be. And in his service, he paid the ultimate price. In his love for Christ, he lived that love in both humility and charity – even to the point of his own death.

In spite of the hardships which awaited him in his travels in preaching God’s Truth, he never turned His back on the God in whom he could place all his trust. In spite of knowing that he would one day face the possibility of death, he never lost sight of the eternal prize which awaited him for his faithfulness – faithfulness not only to the Gospel message, but also to the promises made by His and by our Savior.

What is it about the Apostles that attracts our attention, especially in a world today which has given much of itself over to the seductions of darkness? We find in them their faithfulness and their love for Jesus Christ, and their devotion to the Truth of the Gospel message – true examples for you and me to follow.

May their lives guide each and every one of us in our individual journeys on this side of the eternal, and may the life of Saint Bartholomew and the lives of all the Apostles give each of us the strength and the courage to live our faith honestly and courageously, and to always remain loyal to the saving message of Jesus Christ.

May the words of today’s Responsorial Psalm speak about each of us in the way we embrace and live our life of faith, “The LORD is near to all who call upon him, to all who call upon him in truth.”

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Please Comment, Like and Share, and Suggest to your Facebook friends – to spread the message of God’s Merciful Love.

Por favor Comente, Le Gusta y Comparta, y Sugiera a tus amigos en Facebook – en difundir el mensaje del Misericordioso Amor de Dios.

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Scripture for the Day

  • “The wall of the city had twelve courses of stones as its foundation, on which were inscribed the twelve names of the twelve apostles of the Lamb.” (Revelation 21:14)
  • “Jesus saw Nathanael coming toward him and said of him, ‘Here is a true Israelite. There is no duplicity in him.’(John 1:47)
  • “Amen, amen, I say to you, unless a grain of wheat falls to the ground and dies, it remains just a grain of wheat; but if it dies, it produces much fruit…Whoever serves me must follow me, and where I am, there also will my servant be.” (John 12:24, 26a)
  • “The eleven disciples went to Galilee, to the mountain to which Jesus had ordered them…Then Jesus approached and said to them, ‘All power in heaven and on earth has been given to me. Go, therefore, and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the holy Spirit, teaching them to observe all that I have commanded you. And behold, I am with you always, until the end of the age.’(Matthew 28:16, 18-20)
  • “With great power the apostles bore witness to the resurrection of the Lord Jesus, and great favor was accorded them all.” (Acts 4:33)
  • “Therefore, my beloved brothers, be firm, steadfast, always fully devoted to the work of the Lord, knowing that in the Lord your labor is not in vain.” (1 Corinthians 15:58)
  • “For I know well the plans I have in mind for you, says the LORD, plans for your welfare and not for woe, so as to give you a future of hope. When you call me, and come and pray to me, I will listen to you. When you look for me, you will find me. Yes, when you seek me with all your heart, I will let you find me, says the LORD…” (Jeremiah 29:11-14a)
  • “The LORD is near to all who call upon him, to all who call upon him in truth.” (Psalm 145:18)

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Prayer for the Day

“Lord Jesus, our Glorious Savior,
we humbly give to You our lives;
do with us as Your Providence wills,
for Your greater honor and glory.

“Make our lives useful to Your service.
The only ambition we have is to humbly
and honestly fulfill Your Divine will.
In this, we wish to lift up Your Name Jesus, not ours.

“We desire to make known the power of Your Spirit,
the Holy Spirit of Divine Love and Truth.
We want You to claim us for Yourself,
and use us according to Your Divine purpose.

“And no matter the task
which You assign to us in life,
we will be contented, and full of joy,
to fulfill our purpose as disciples of Your Spirit.

“Lord Jesus, may Your Holy Spirit live in us always,
guiding us to live a virtuous and fruitful life,
always pleasing to You and helpful to our neighbor,
as we help to build up the Body of Christ.

“Fill our lives with meaning and our hearts with hope.
And when our time here is complete,
bless us with eternal life in Your Heavenly Kingdom.
Jesus, we humbly pray this in Your Most Holy Name. Amen.”

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