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To: All

From: John 1:43-51

The Calling of the First Disciples (Continuation)



[43] The next day Jesus decided to go to Galilee. And He found Philip
and said to him, "Follow Me." [44] Now Philip was from Bethsaida, the
city of Andrew and Peter. [45] Philip found Nathaniel, and said to
him, "We have found Him of whom Moses in the law and also the prophets
wrote, Jesus of Nazareth, the son of Joseph." [46] Nathaniel said to
him, "Can anything good come out of Nazareth?" Philip said to him,
"Come and see." [47] Jesus saw Nathaniel coming to Him, and said to
him, "Behold, an Israelite indeed, in whom is no guile!"
[48] Nathaniel said to Him, "How do you know me?" Jesus answered him,
"Before Philip called you, when you were under the fig tree, I saw
you." [49] Nathaniel answered Him, "Rabbi, you are the Son of God!
You are the King of Israel! [50] Jesus answered him, "Because I said
to you, I saw you under the fig tree, do you believe? You shall see
greater things than these." [51] And He said to him, "Truly, truly, I
say to you, you will see Heaven opened, and the angels of God ascending
and descending upon the Son of Man."




Commentary:

43. "Follow Me" is what Jesus usually says to all His disciples (cf. Mt
4:19; 8:22; 9:9). During Jesus' lifetime, His invitation to follow Him
implied being with Him in His public ministry, listening to His
teaching, imitating His lifestyle, etc. Once the Lord ascended into
Heaven, following Him obviously does not mean going with Him along the
roads of Palestine; it means that "a Christian should live as Christ
lived, making the affections of Christ his own, so that he can exclaim
with St Paul: "It is now no longer I that live, but Christ lives in
me'" ([St] J. Escriva, "Christ Is Passing By", 103). In all cases our
Lord's invitation involves setting out on a journey: that is,
itrequires one to lead a life of striving always to do God's will even
if this involves generous self-sacrifice.

45-51. The Apostle Philip is so moved that he cannot but tell his
friend Nathanael (Bartholomew) about his wonderful discovery (verse
45). "Nathanael had heard from Scripture that Jesus must come from
Bethlehem, from the people of David. This belief prevailed among the
Jews and also the prophet had proclaimed it of old, saying: `But you, O
Bethlehem, who are little to be among the clans of Judah, from you
shall come forth for me one who is to be ruler of Israel' (Micah 5:2).
Therefore, when he heard that He was from Nazareth, he was troubled and
in doubt, since he found that the announcement of Philip was not in
agreement with the words of the prophecy" (St. John Chrysostom, "Hom.
on St. John", 20, 1).

A Christian may find that, in trying to communicate his faith to
others, they raise difficulties. What should he do? What Philip
did--not trust his own explanation, but invite them to approach Jesus
personally: "Come and see" (verse 46). In other words, a Christian
should bring his fellow-men, his brothers into Jesus' presence through
the means of grace which He has given them and which the Church
ministers--frequent reception of the sacraments, and devout Christian
practices.

Nathanael, a sincere person (verse 47), goes along with Philip to see
Jesus; he makes personal contact with our Lord (verse 48), and the
outcome is that he receives faith (the result of his ready reception of
grace, which reaches him through Christ's human nature: verse 49).

As far as we can deduce from the Gospels, Nathanael is the first
Apostle to make an explicit confession of faith in Jesus as Messiah and
as Son of God. Later on St. Peter, in a more formal way, will
recognize our Lord's divinity (cf. Matthew 16:16). Here (verse 51)
Jesus evokes a text from Daniel (7:13) to confirm and give deeper
meaning to the words spoken by His new disciple.




Source: "The Navarre Bible: Text and Commentaries". Biblical text
taken from the Revised Standard Version and New Vulgate. Commentaries
made by members of the Faculty of Theology of the University of
Navarre, Spain. Published by Four Courts Press, Kill Lane, Blackrock,
Co. Dublin, Ireland.


6 posted on 01/05/2006 9:20:25 AM PST by Salvation (†With God all things are possible.†)
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To: All
Thursday, January 5, 2006
St. John Neumann, Bishop (Memorial)
First Reading:
Psalm:
Gospel:
1 John 3:11-21
Psalm 100:1-5
John 1:43-51

It is better to be the child of God than king of the whole world.

-- St Aloysius Gonzaga


7 posted on 01/05/2006 9:42:06 AM PST by Salvation (†With God all things are possible.†)
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