5th of January (English)

Publié le 4 Janvier 2018

Gospel text (Jn 1,43-51):

 After Jesus had decided to set off for Galilee, He met Philip and said to him, «Follow me». Philip was from Bethsaida, the town of Andrew and Peter. Philip found Nathanael and said to him, «We have found the one that Moses wrote about in the Law, and the prophets as well: he is Jesus, son of Joseph, from Nazareth». Nathanael replied, «Can anything good come from Nazareth?». Philip said to him, «Come and see».

When Jesus saw Nathanael coming, he said of him, «Here comes an Israelite, a true one; there is nothing false in him». Nathanael asked him, «How do you know me?». And Jesus said to him, «Before Philip called you, you were under the fig tree and I saw you». Nathanael answered, «Master, you are the Son of God! You are the King of Israel!». But Jesus replied, «You believe because I said: ‘I saw you under the fig tree’. But you will see greater things than that. Truly, I say to you, you will see the heavens opened and the angels of God ascending and descending upon the Son of Man».

 

Daily Quote from the early church fathers

The Lord of Angels, by John Chrysostom (347-407 AD)

"Do you see how he [Jesus] leads him [Nathanael] up little by little from the earth and causes him no longer to imagine him as merely a man? For one to whom angels minister and on whom angels ascend and descend, how could he be a man? This is why he said, 'You shall see greater things than these.' And to prove this, he introduces the ministry of angels. What he means is something like this: Does this, O Nathanael, seem to you a great matter, and have you for this confessed me to be King of Israel? What then will you say when you see 'angels ascending and descending on me'? He persuades him by these words to receive him as Lord also of the angels. For on him as on the king's own son, the royal ministers ascended and descended, once at the season of the crucifixion, again at the time of the resurrection and the ascension, and before this also, when they 'came and ministered to him' (Matthew 4:11). They also ascended and descended when they proclaimed the good news of his birth and cried, 'Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace' (Luke 2:14), when they came to Mary and also when they came to Joseph... Our Lord made the present a proof of the future. After the powers he had already shown, Nathanael would readily believe that much more would follow." (excerpt from the Homilies On the Gospel of John 21.1)

 

«Come and see»

Fr. Rafel FELIPE i Freije 
(Girona, Spain)

Today, Philip teaches us an important lesson when he asks Nathaniel to go with him to meet the Master, because, like all true friends, he wants to share the treasure he has discovered: «We have found the one that Moses wrote about in the Law, and the prophets as well: he is Jesus, son of Joseph, from Nazareth» (Jn 1:45). He is impatient to share the riches of Jesus with others, so that they too can be blessed by the treasure that comes to all that know Jesus Christ. No one is able to fill a man's heart with the happiness and peace that is ours when Jesus dwells within. When we experience His love, peace, and blessing in our lives, we are eager to share Him. This restless urge to share what we have with others, is the origin of the calling of a Christian Apostle. At some point in our lives, Jesus bids us to cast our nets wide. When he does, He is telling each one of us that we must become fishers of people, for the people of the world is in great need of God, and our common hunger for spiritual fulfillment, truth, and happiness can only be satisfied by Jesus Christ. «Only Jesus Christ means everything for us (…). Happy the man who waits for Him!» (Saint Ambrose).

We cannot give what we do not have. So, before we can tell others about the Master, we must already have encountered Him and come to know Him. Only when we know Him well and have allowed Him to enter and direct into our lives, can we share Him with others, as Philip did, and as His disciples have done throughout history.

This involves knowing Jesus as the Lord of our lives, knowing Him as a friend, conversing with Him, and accepting Him so completely that we can declare: «Master, you are the Son of God! You are the King of Israel!» (Jn 1:49). We must receive Him in the Eucharist, share our gratitude and our desires with Him in daily prayer, and listen intently to His declarations of forgiveness. All this will help us to know Him well enough to be able to speak of Him with others to their understanding, so that they too can discover that intimate joy of encountering our Lord, experience religious satisfaction, and come to love Him even as we love Him.

 

Rédigé par JOHNBOSCO

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