Audio Readings August 24, 2015 Saint Bartholomew, Apostle (Feast)

Revelation 21:9-14
Psalm 145:10-13, 17-18

John 1:45-51

Saint Bartholomew, Apostle (Feast)

Here is a true child of Israel. (John 1:47)

Leonardo da Vinci’s Mona Lisa is one of the most famous paintings in history. Art historians have analyzed it for generations. But most people don’t want to study the painting—they just want to look at it. For da Vinci captured the uniqueness and beauty of his subject in a way that few artists ever have. You could say he painted the “real” Mona Lisa!

Notice how Jesus was also like an artist here. He saw Nathanael—also known as Bartholomew, the saint of today’s feast—under a fig tree. But Jesus saw Nathanael not just as he looked from the outside: he saw into his heart. He understood that Nathanael was without “duplicity,” a forthright man who didn’t care about other people’s opinions (John 1:47). He also saw Nathanael’s future. He knew that Nathanael would become his disciple and would see the fulfillment of Messianic prophecy. He would know Jesus not just as king, but as Savior and Lord as well.

God also sees us, just the way a careful viewer sees the Mona Lisa. He sees inside our hearts and knows our best qualities: whether we are sincere, like Nathanael, or compassionate or encouraging or filled with zeal to spread the gospel. Yes, he also sees those areas that need work, maybe our selfishness or our pride. But he sees these not as permanent flaws but as parts of his painting that still need some work. No matter what is there, he still considers us his masterwork, his pride and joy.

But be careful not to think of yourself as just a piece of canvas that God is painting on. You have the amazing privilege of working with him. You have a hand in the painting of this masterpiece as you cooperate with him. You can decide how it will turn out! Maybe you’ll shine with the light of compassion for the needy. Maybe you will manifest deep faithfulness in trying situations. Maybe you’ll exhibit the modest smile of a prayerful, peaceful spirit. So don’t listen to any harsh, condemning voice! You are God’s “good work,” and he will continue to guide you until that work is done (Philippians 1:6).

“Lord, you are the potter—but I am much more than clay. Help me to love your people with all my heart, mind, and strength.”~WAU

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About gemdk

I am a cradle Catholic who made my first Holy Communion over 5o years ago at All Saints Catholic Church in Houston,TX in 1961. Went to Mass every Sunday as a child and teen and then young adult. Fell away for about 12 years in the late 80's, early 90's and then realized what was missing in my life was my Catholic upbringing and faith. Found my home at Sacred Heart in Crosby. Filling up the void I had for those 12 years in more ways than I can imagine, loving every minute of it. But this blog is not about me as much as it is for me and anyone who wants/needs to hear the word of God. I'm merely the instrument God uses to post the readings.
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