Skip to comments.Catholic Caucus: Daily Mass Readings 24-August-2023
Posted on 08/24/2023 6:34:53 AM PDT by annalex
Saint Bartholomew, Apostle
St. Bartholomew the Apostle Church, Kafr Kanna, the Holy Land
Readings at Mass
Liturgical Colour: Red. Year: A(I).
He showed me Jerusalem, the holy city, coming down from God out of heaven
The angel came to speak to me, and said, ‘Come here and I will show you the bride that the Lamb has married.’ In the spirit, he took me to the top of an enormous high mountain and showed me Jerusalem, the holy city, coming down from God out of heaven. It had all the radiant glory of God and glittered like some precious jewel of crystal-clear diamond. The walls of it were of a great height, and had twelve gates; at each of the twelve gates there was an angel, and over the gates were written the names of the twelve tribes of Israel; on the east there were three gates, on the north three gates, on the south three gates, and on the west three gates. The city walls stood on twelve foundation stones, each one of which bore the name of one of the twelve apostles of the Lamb.
Your friends, O Lord, make known the glorious splendour of your reign.
All your creatures shall thank you, O Lord,
and your friends shall repeat their blessing.
They shall speak of the glory of your reign
and declare your might, O God.
Your friends, O Lord, make known the glorious splendour of your reign.
They make known to men your mighty deeds
and the glorious splendour of your reign.
Yours is an everlasting kingdom;
your rule lasts from age to age.
Your friends, O Lord, make known the glorious splendour of your reign.
The Lord is just in all his ways
and loving in all his deeds.
He is close to all who call him,
who call on him from their hearts.
Your friends, O Lord, make known the glorious splendour of your reign.
Rabbi, you are the Son of God,
you are the King of Israel.
You will see heaven laid open, and the Son of Man
Philip found Nathanael and said to him, ‘We have found the one Moses wrote about in the Law, the one about whom the prophets wrote: he is Jesus son of Joseph, from Nazareth.’ ‘From Nazareth?’ said Nathanael ‘Can anything good come from that place?’ ‘Come and see’ replied Philip. When Jesus saw Nathanael coming he said of him, ‘There is an Israelite who deserves the name, incapable of deceit.’ ‘How do you know me?’ said Nathanael. ‘Before Philip came to call you,’ said Jesus ‘I saw you under the fig tree.’ Nathanael answered, ‘Rabbi, you are the Son of God, you are the King of Israel.’ Jesus replied, ‘You believe that just because I said: I saw you under the fig tree. You will see greater things than that.’ And then he added ‘I tell you most solemnly, you will see heaven laid open and, above the Son of Man, the angels of God ascending and descending.’
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The readings on this page are from the Jerusalem Bible, which is used at Mass in most of the English-speaking world. The New American Bible readings, which are used at Mass in the United States, are available in the Universalis apps, programs and downloads.
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|Latin: Vulgata Clementina
|Greek NT: Byzantine/Majority Text (2000)
|Philip findeth Nathanael, and saith to him: We have found him of whom Moses in the law, and the prophets did write, Jesus the son of Joseph of Nazareth.
|Invenit Philippus Nathanaël, et dicit ei : Quem scripsit Moyses in lege, et prophetæ, invenimus Jesum filium Joseph a Nazareth.
|ευρισκει φιλιππος τον ναθαναηλ και λεγει αυτω ον εγραψεν μωσης εν τω νομω και οι προφηται ευρηκαμεν ιησουν τον υιον του ιωσηφ τον απο ναζαρετ
|And Nathanael said to him: Can any thing of good come from Nazareth? Philip saith to him: Come and see.
|Et dixit ei Nathanaël : A Nazareth potest aliquid boni esse ? Dicit ei Philippus : Veni et vide.
|και ειπεν αυτω ναθαναηλ εκ ναζαρετ δυναται τι αγαθον ειναι λεγει αυτω φιλιππος ερχου και ιδε
|Jesus saw Nathanael coming to him: and he saith of him: Behold an Israelite indeed, in whom there is no guile.
|Vidit Jesus Nathanaël venientem ad se, et dicit de eo : Ecce vere Israëlita, in quo dolus non est.
|ειδεν ο ιησους τον ναθαναηλ ερχομενον προς αυτον και λεγει περι αυτου ιδε αληθως ισραηλιτης εν ω δολος ουκ εστιν
|Nathanael saith to him: Whence knowest thou me? Jesus answered, and said to him: Before that Philip called thee, when thou wast under the fig tree, I saw thee.
|Dicit ei Nathanaël : Unde me nosti ? Respondit Jesus, et dixit ei : Priusquam te Philippus vocavit, cum esses sub ficu, vidi te.
|λεγει αυτω ναθαναηλ ποθεν με γινωσκεις απεκριθη ιησους και ειπεν αυτω προ του σε φιλιππον φωνησαι οντα υπο την συκην ειδον σε
|Nathanael answered him, and said: Rabbi, thou art the Son of God, thou art the King of Israel.
|Respondit ei Nathanaël, et ait : Rabbi, tu es Filius Dei, tu es rex Israël.
|απεκριθη ναθαναηλ και λεγει αυτω ραββι συ ει ο υιος του θεου συ ει ο βασιλευς του ισραηλ
|Jesus answered, and said to him: Because I said unto thee, I saw thee under the fig tree, thou believest: greater things than these shalt thou see.
|Respondit Jesus, et dixit ei : Quia dixi tibi : Vidi te sub ficu, credis ; majus his videbis.
|απεκριθη ιησους και ειπεν αυτω οτι ειπον σοι ειδον σε υποκατω της συκης πιστευεις μειζω τουτων οψει
|And he saith to him: Amen, amen I say to you, you shall see the heaven opened, and the angels of God ascending and descending upon the Son of man.
|Et dicit ei : Amen, amen dico vobis, videbitis cælum apertum, et angelos Dei ascendentes, et descendentes supra Filium hominis.
|και λεγει αυτω αμην αμην λεγω υμιν απ αρτι οψεσθε τον ουρανον ανεωγοτα και τους αγγελους του θεου αναβαινοντας και καταβαινοντας επι τον υιον του ανθρωπου
43. The day following Jesus would go forth into Galilee, and findeth Philip, and saith unto him, Follow me.
44. Now Philip was of Bethsaida, the city of Andrew and Peter.
45. Philip findeth Nathanael, and saith unto him, We have found him, of whom Moses in the law, and the prophets, did write, Jesus of Nazareth, the son of Joseph.
46. And Nathanael said unto him, Can there any good thing come out of Nazareth? Philip saith unto him, Come and see.
CHRYSOSTOM. (Hom. xix) After gaining these disciples, Christ proceeded to convert others, viz. Philip and Nathanael: The day following, Jesus would go forth into Galilee.
ALCUIN. Leaving, that is, Judæa, where John was baptizing, out of respect to the Baptist, and not to appear to lower his office, so long as it continued. He was going too to call a disciple, and wished to go forth into Galilee, i. e. to a place of “transition” or “revelation,” that is to say, that as He Himself increased in wisdom or stature, and in favour with God and man, and as He suffered and rose again, and entered into His glory: so He would teach His followers to go forth, and increase in virtue, and pass through suffering to joy. He findeth Philip, and saith unto him, Follow Me. Every one follows Jesus who imitates His humility and suffering, in order to be partaker of His resurrection and ascension.
CHRYSOSTOM. (Hom. xx. 1) Observe, He did not call them, before some had of their own accord joined Him: for had He invited them, before any had joined Him, perhaps they would have started back: but now having determined to follow of their own free choice, they remain firm ever after. He calls Philip, however, because he would be known to him, from living in Galilee. But what made Philip follow Christ? Andrew heard from John the Baptist, and Peter from Andrew; he had heard from no one; and yet on Christ saying, Follow Me, was persuaded instantly. It is not improbable that Philip may have heard John: and yet it may have been the mere voice of Christ which produced this effect.
THEOPHYLACT. For the voice of Christ sounded not like a common voice to some, that is, the faithful, but kindled in their inmost soul the love of Him. Philip having been continually meditating on Christ, and reading the books of Moses, so confidently expected Him, that the instant he saw, he believed. Perhaps too he had heard of Him from Andrew and Peter, coming from the same district; an explanation which the Evangelist seems to hint at, when he adds, Now Philip was of Bethsaida, the city of Andrew and Peter.
CHRYSOSTOM. (Hom. xx. 1) The power of Christ appears by His gathering fruit out of a barren country. For from that Galilee, out of which there ariseth no prophet, He takes His most distinguished disciples.
ALCUIN. Bethsaida means house of hunters. The Evangelist introduces the name of this place by way of allusion to the characters of Philip, Peter, and Andrew, and their future office, i. e. catching and saving souls.
CHRYSOSTOM. (Hom. xx. 1) Philip is not persuaded himself, but begins preaching to others: Philip findeth Nathanael, and saith unto him, We have found Him of whom Moses in the Law, and the Prophets, did write, Jesus of Nazareth, the Son of Joseph. See how zealous he is, and how constantly he is meditating on the books of Moses, and looking for Christ’s coming. That Christ was coming he had known before; but he did not know that this was the Christ, of whom Moses and the Prophets did write: He says this to give credibility to his preaching, and to shew his zeal for the Law and the Prophets, and how that he had examined them attentively. Be not disturbed at his calling our Lord the Son of Joseph; this was what He was supposed to be.
AUGUSTINE. (Tr. vii. c. 15) The person to whom our Lord’s mother had been betrothed. The Christians know from the Gospel, that He was conceived and born of an undefiled mother. He adds the place too, of Nazareth.
THEOPHYLACT. He was bred up there: the place of His birth could not have been known generally, but all knew that He was bred up in Nazareth.
And Nathanael said unto him, Can there any good thing come out of Nazareth.
AUGUSTINE. (Tr. vii. c. 15, 16, 17) However you may understand these words, Philip’s answer will suit. You may read it either as affirmatory, Something good can come out of Nazareth; to which the other says, Come and see: or you may read it as a question, implying doubt on Nathanael’s part, Can any good thing come out of Nazareth? Come and see. Since either way of reading agrees equally with what follows, we must inquire the meaning of the passage. Nathanael was well read in the Law, and therefore the word Nazareth (Philip having said that he had found Jesus of Nazareth) immediately raises his hopes, and he exclaims, Something good can come out of Nazareth. He had searched the Scriptures, and knew, what the Scribes and Pharisees could not, that the Saviour was to be expected thence.
ALCUIN. He who alone is absolutely holy, harmless, undefiled; of whom the prophet saith, There shall come forth a rod out of the stem of Jesse, and a branch (Nazaræus) shall grow out of his roots. (Isaiah 11:1) Or the words may be taken as expressing doubt, and asking the question.
CHRYSOSTOM. (Hom. xx. 1, 2) Nathanael knew from the Scriptures, that Christ was to come from Bethlehem, according to the prophecy of Micah, And thou, Bethlehem, in the land of Judah,—out of thee shall come a Governor, that shall rule my people Israel. (Micah 5:2) On hearing of Nazareth, then, he doubted, and was not able to reconcile Philip’s tidings with prophecy. For the Prophets call Him a Nazarene, only in reference to His education and mode of life. Observe, however, the discretion and gentleness with which he communicates his doubts. He does not say, Thou deceivest me, Philip; but simply asks the question, Can any good thing come out of Nazareth? Philip too in turn is equally discrete. He is not confounded by the question, but dwells upon it, and lingers in the hope of bringing him to Christ: Philip saith unto him, Come and see. He takes him to Christ, knowing that when he had once tasted of His words and doctrine, he will make no more resistance.
47. Jesus saw Nathanael coming to him, and saith of him, Behold an Israelite indeed, in whom is no guile!
48. Nathanael saith unto him, Whence knowest thou me? Jesus answered and said unto him, Before that Philip called thee, when thou wast under the fig tree, I saw thee.
49. Nathanael answered and saith unto him, Rabbi, thou art the Son of God; thou art the King of Israel.
50. Jesus answered and said unto him, Because I said unto thee, I saw thee under the fig tree, believest thou? thou shalt see greater things than these.
51. And he saith unto him, Verily, verily, I say unto you, Hereafter ye shall see heaven open, and the angels of God ascending and descending upon the Son of man.
CHRYSOSTOM. (Hom. xix) Nathanael, in difficulty as to Christ coming out of Nazareth, shewed the care with which he had read the Scriptures: his not rejecting the tidings when brought him, shewed his strong desire for Christ’s coming. He thought that Philip might be mistaken as to the place. It follows, Jesus saw Nathanael coming to Him, and saith of him, Behold an Israelite indeed, in whom is no guile! There was no fault to be found with him, though he had spoken like one who did not believe, because he was more deeply read in the Prophets than Philip. He calls him guileless, because he had said nothing to gain favour, or gratify malice.
AUGUSTINE. (Tr. vii. c. 19) What meaneth this, In whom is no guile? Had he no sin? Was no physician necessary for him? Far from it. No one was ever born, of a temper not to need the Physician. It is guile, when we say one thing, and think another. How then was there no guile in him? Because, if he was a sinner, he confessed his sin; whereas if a man, being a sinner, pretends to be righteous, there is guile in his mouth. Our Lord then commended the confession of sin in Nathanael; He did not pronounce him not a sinner.
THEOPHYLACT. Nathanael however, notwithstanding this praise, does not acquiesce immediately, but waits for further evidence, and asks, Whence knowest Thou me?
CHRYSOSTOM. (Hom. xx) He asks as man, Jesus answers as God: Jesus answered and said unto him, Before that Philip called thee, when thou wast under the fig tree, I saw thee: not having beheld him as man, but as God discerning him from above. I saw thee, He says, that is, the character of thy life, when thou wast under the fig tree: where the two, Philip and Nathanael, had been talking together alone, nobody seeing them; and on this account it is said, that on seeing him a long way off, He said, Behold an Israelite indeed; whence it appears that this speech was before Philip came near, so that no suspicion could attach to Christ’s testimony. Christ would not say, I am not of Nazareth, as Philip told you, but of Bethlehem; in order to avoid an argument: (ἀμφισβητήσιμον λόγον.) and because it would not have been sufficient proof, had He mentioned it, of His being the Christ. He preferred rather proving this by His having been present at their conversation.
AUGUSTINE. (Tr. vii. c. 21) Has this fig tree any meaning? We read of one fig tree which was cursed, because it had only leaves, and no fruit. Again, at the creation, Adam and Eve, after sinning, made themselves aprons of fig leaves. Fig leaves then signify sins; and Nathanael, when he was under the fig tree, was under the shadow of death: so that our Lord seemeth to say, O Israel, whoever of you is without guile, O people of the Jewish faith, before that I called thee by My Apostles, when thou wert as yet under the shadow of death, and sawest Me not, I saw thee.
GREGORY. (xviii. Mor. c. xxxviii. [59.]) When thou wast under the fig tree, I saw thee; i. e. when thou wast yet under the shade of the law, I chose thee.
AUGUSTINE. (Serm. 40. [122.]) Nathanael remembered that he had been under the fig tree, where Christ was not present corporeally, but only by His spiritual knowledge. Hence, knowing that he had been alone, he recognised our Lord’s Divinity.
CHRYSOSTOM. (Hom. xx) That our Lord then had this knowledge, had penetrated into his mind, had not blamed but praised his hesitation, proved to Nathanael that He was the true Christ: Nathanael answered and saith unto Him, Rabbi, Thou art the Son of God, Thou art the King of Israel: as if he said, Thou art He who was expected, thou art He who was sought for. Sure proof being obtained, he proceeds to make confession; herein shewing his devotion, as his former hesitation had shewn his diligence.
CHRYSOSTOM. (Hom. xxi. [al. xx.] 1) Many when they read this passage, are perplexed at finding that, whereas Peter was pronounced blessed for having, after our Lord’s miracles and teaching, confessed Him to be the Son of God, Nathanael, who makes the same confession before, has no such benediction. The reason is this. Peter and Nathanael both used the same words, but not in the same meaning. Peter confessed our Lord to be the Son of God, in the sense of very God; the latter in the sense of mere man; for after saying, Thou art the Son of God, he adds, Thou art the King of Israel; whereas the Son of God was not the King of Israel only, but of the whole world. This is manifest from what follows. For in the case of Peter Christ added nothing, but, as if his faith were perfect, said, that he would build the Church upon his confession; whereas Nathanael, as if his confession were very deficient, is led up to higher things: Jesus answered and said unto him, Because I said unto thee, I saw thee under the fig tree, believest thou? Thou shalt see greater things than these. As if He said, What I have just said has appeared a great matter to thee, and thou hast confessed Me to be King of Israel; what wilt thou say when thou seest greater things than these? What that greater thing is He proceeds to shew: And He saith unto him, Verily, verily, I say unto you, Hereafter ye shall see heaven open, and the angels of God ascending and descending upon the Son of man. See how He raises him from earth for a while, and forces him to think that Christ is not a mere man: for how could He be a mere man, whom angels ministered to? It was, as it were, saying, that He was Lord of the Angels; for He must be the King’s own Son, on whom the servants of the King descended and ascended; descended at His crucifixion, ascended at His resurrection and ascension. Angels too before this came and ministered unto Him, and angels brought the glad tidings of His birth. Our Lord made the present a proof of the future. After the powers He had already shewn, Nathanael would readily believe that much more would follow.
AUGUSTINE. (in Verb. Dom.) Let us recollect the Old Testament account. Jacob saw in a dream a ladder reaching from earth to heaven; the Lord resting upon it, and the angels ascending and descending upon it. Lastly, Jacob himself understanding what the vision meant, set up a stone, and poured oil upon it. (Gen. 28:12.) When he anointed the stone, did he make an idol? No: he only set up a symbol, not an object of worship. Thou seest here the anointing; see the Anointed also. He is the stone which the builders refused. If Jacob, who was named Israel, saw the ladder, and Nathanael was an Israelite indeed, there was a fitness in our Lord telling him Jacob’s dream; as if he said, Whose name thou art called by, his dream hath appeared unto thee: for thou shalt see the heaven open, and the angels of God ascending and descending upon the Son of man. If they descend upon Him, and ascend to Him, then He is both up above and here below at the same time; above in Himself, below in His members.
AUGUSTINE. (Tr. vii. in Joan. c. 23) Good preachers, however, who preach Christ, are as angels of God; i. e. they ascend and descend upon the Son of man; as Paul, who ascended to the third heaven, and descended so far even as to give milk to babes. He saith, We shall see greater things than these: (2 Cor. 12:2. 1 Cor. 3:2) because it is a greater thing that our Lord has justified us, whom He hath called, than that He saw us lying under the shadow of death. For had we remained where He saw us, what profit would it have been? (c. 17.). It is asked why Nathanael, to whom our Lord bears such testimony, is not found among the twelve Apostles. We may believe, however, that it was because he was so learned, and versed in the law, that our Lord had not put him among the disciples. He chose the foolish, to confound the world. Intending to break the neck of the proud, He sought not to gain the fisherman through the orator, but by the fisherman the emperor. The great Cyprian was an orator; but Peter was a fisherman before him; and through him not only the orator, but the emperor, believed.
St. Bartholomew was one of the 12 Apostles of Jesus. Scholars believe he was a man of Cana of Galilee, and that Jesus complimented him by saying, "“Here is a true Israelite. There is no duplicity in him." St. Bartholomew is the patron saint of leatherworkers, bookbinders, plasterers, butchers, tanners, and shoemakers.
Pope Benedict XVI offers us these words about St. Bartholomew:
Dear Brothers and Sisters,
In the series on the Apostles called by Jesus during his earthly life, today it is the Apostle Bartholomew who attracts our attention. In the ancient lists of the Twelve he always comes before Matthew, whereas the name of the Apostle who precedes him varies; it may be Philip (cf. Mt 10: 3; Mk 3: 18; Lk 6: 14) or Thomas (cf. Acts 1: 13).
His name is clearly a patronymic, since it is formulated with an explicit reference to his father's name. Indeed, it is probably a name with an Aramaic stamp, bar Talmay, which means precisely: "son of Talmay".
We have no special information about Bartholomew; indeed, his name always and only appears in the lists of the Twelve mentioned above and is therefore never central to any narrative.
However, it has traditionally been identified with Nathanael: a name that means "God has given".
This Nathanael came from Cana (cf. Jn 21: 2) and he may therefore have witnessed the great "sign" that Jesus worked in that place (cf. Jn 2: 1-11). It is likely that the identification of the two figures stems from the fact that Nathanael is placed in the scene of his calling, recounted in John's Gospel, next to Philip, in other words, the place that Bartholomew occupies in the lists of the Apostles mentioned in the other Gospels.
Philip told this Nathanael that he had found "him of whom Moses in the law and also the prophets wrote, Jesus of Nazareth, the son of Joseph" (Jn 1: 45). As we know, Nathanael's retort was rather strongly prejudiced: "Can anything good come out of Nazareth?" (Jn 1: 46). In its own way, this form of protestation is important for us. Indeed, it makes us see that according to Judaic expectations the Messiah could not come from such an obscure village as, precisely, Nazareth (see also Jn 7: 42).
But at the same time Nathanael's protest highlights God's freedom, which baffles our expectations by causing him to be found in the very place where we least expect him. Moreover, we actually know that Jesus was not exclusively "from Nazareth" but was born in Bethlehem (cf. Mt 2: 1; Lk 2: 4) and came ultimately from Heaven, from the Father who is in Heaven.
Nathanael's reaction suggests another thought to us: in our relationship with Jesus we must not be satisfied with words alone. In his answer, Philip offers Nathanael a meaningful invitation: "Come and see!" (Jn 1: 46). Our knowledge of Jesus needs above all a first-hand experience: someone else's testimony is of course important, for normally the whole of our Christian life begins with the proclamation handed down to us by one or more witnesses.
However, we ourselves must then be personally involved in a close and deep relationship with Jesus; in a similar way, when the Samaritans had heard the testimony of their fellow citizen whom Jesus had met at Jacob's well, they wanted to talk to him directly, and after this conversation they told the woman: "It is no longer because of your words that we believe, for we have heard for ourselves, and we know that this is indeed the Saviour of the world" (Jn 4: 42).
Returning to the scene of Nathanael's vocation, the Evangelist tells us that when Jesus sees Nathanael approaching, he exclaims: "Behold, an Israelite indeed, in whom there is no guile!" (Jn 1: 47). This is praise reminiscent of the text of a Psalm: "Blessed is the man... in whose spirit there is no deceit" (32: 2), but provokes the curiosity of Nathanael who answers in amazement: "How do you know me?" (Jn 1: 48).
Jesus' reply cannot immediately be understood. He says: "Before Philip called you, when you were under the fig tree, I saw you" (Jn 1: 48). We do not know what had happened under this fig tree. It is obvious that it had to do with a decisive moment in Nathanael's life.
His heart is moved by Jesus' words, he feels understood and he understands: "This man knows everything about me, he knows and is familiar with the road of life; I can truly trust this man". And so he answers with a clear and beautiful confession of faith: "Rabbi, you are the Son of God! You are the King of Israel!" (Jn 1: 49). In this confession is conveyed a first important step in the journey of attachment to Jesus.
Nathanael's words shed light on a twofold, complementary aspect of Jesus' identity: he is recognized both in his special relationship with God the Father, of whom he is the Only-begotten Son, and in his relationship with the People of Israel, of whom he is the declared King, precisely the description of the awaited Messiah. We must never lose sight of either of these two elements because if we only proclaim Jesus' heavenly dimension, we risk making him an ethereal and evanescent being; and if, on the contrary, we recognize only his concrete place in history, we end by neglecting the divine dimension that properly qualifies him.
We have no precise information about Bartholomew-Nathanael's subsequent apostolic activity. According to information handed down by Eusebius, the fourth-century historian, a certain Pantaenus is supposed to have discovered traces of Bartholomew's presence even in India (cf. Hist. eccl. V, 10, 3).
In later tradition, as from the Middle Ages, the account of his death by flaying became very popular. Only think of the famous scene of the Last Judgment in the Sistine Chapel in which Michelangelo painted St Bartholomew, who is holding his own skin in his left hand, on which the artist left his self-portrait.
St Bartholomew's relics are venerated here in Rome in the Church dedicated to him on the Tiber Island, where they are said to have been brought by the German Emperor Otto III in the year 983.
To conclude, we can say that despite the scarcity of information about him, St Bartholomew stands before us to tell us that attachment to Jesus can also be lived and witnessed to without performing sensational deeds. Jesus himself, to whom each one of us is called to dedicate his or her own life and death, is and remains extraordinary.
-Benedict XVI, General Audience, 4 October 2006
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