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FINDING JESUS IN A QUIET PLACE

Feast of St. Bartholomew, Apostle

Scriptural Readings: Revelation 21:9-14; Psalm 145:10-13, 17-18; John 1:45-51


My dear encountered couples:

Today is the Feast of the Apostle St. Bartholomew. The Gospel from John tells the story of Bartholomew, then known as Nathanael, meeting Jesus. I wonder what he was doing under that fig tree. Just resting awhile, maybe daydreaming? Planning for the future, imagining all the great things he would someday do? Wouldn’t it be nice to just sit under a tree on a warm day, read a book, take a snooze, and take a good look at our lives?


Life is so busy (especially now that we are battling the onslaught of the coronavirus) we often don’t even notice the beautiful trees and flowers and mountains, let alone get time to enjoy them. Nature is all around us in all its glory, but we are so busy rushing from here to there, feeling guilty about this, worrying over that, that the world God made, not merely for utilitarian purposes but for enjoyment, becomes like a picture on a wall that gets passed by without even a glance.


As they say, we need to take time out “to smell the roses,” or life will be over and we will have missed the treasures of God’s gift of nature. Maybe that is what the soon-to-be apostle Nathanael, whom we call Bartholomew, was doing when Jesus saw him under the fig tree. Enjoying nature.


Time is precious, we must use it well. But that doesn’t mean we must be doing busy things all the time. In fact, it might be very hard for God to get through to us when we are so busy and life is so noisy. He can probably get through to us much more successfully during quiet times, when the TV is off, when we are just sitting and resting.


Jesus came to Bartholomew under a fig tree and made an apostle out of him. Find a quiet place in this beautiful world where he can come to you and do with you as he pleases. Today if we spend some time with Jesus, we also may hear him say to us: “Here is a true child of Israel!” However, we may or may not have a heart as pure as Nathanael did. Yet we are children of God. And we are called by Jesus just as Nathanael was called. What will our response be? Will we trust Jesus and decide to follow him? Or will we waffle with fear or anxiety?

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