Today, we celebrate the feast of St. Bartholomew, otherwise known as Nathanael. A man whom Philip shared the news of having discovered Jesus of Nazareth. Bartho (for short) would never have known Jesus if Philip had not personally introduced him. Even though it is not Philip we are celebrating today, there is need for us to highlight and reflect on the action of Philip.
The question is: Why do I find it very difficult to talk about Jesus to others? To my colleagues at work, to the stranger I find on the street, to the man I happen to share a bus ride with, to my best friend, to my family members? How come I would rather talk about a thousand and one things but carefully leave out Jesus?
How come the only time I invite people to church is to join me raise funds for harvest or for my thanksgiving or for one ceremony or another that would involve them donating for one project or another? Am I really convinced about my Christian faith?
Bartho on his part did not hide his deep seated convictions regarding Nazareth as a whole. “Can anything good come out of that town?” Without mincing words, this statement must have been very discouraging. When I try to talk about Jesus to others, I should not expect that they would accept what I have to say hook, line and sinker. I would be a dreamer to assume that they would immediately say “Yes, Yes, Yes, I believe.”
Philip wasn’t discouraged by Bartho’s reaction. He didn’t write him off. Instead he said: “Come and see.” When Bartho eventually became an Apostle himself, he must have remembered this experience many times and used the same strategy in spreading the Good News.
Bartho was touched merely by the fact that Jesus saw him under the fig tree. He was convinced immediately that only a Son of God could have known he was under a fig tree at that time.
The way and manner we become converted vary. Some people’s conversion were rather dramatic, some not so. The “how” is not so important. What matters is that at some point in our lives, we become true Christians, true followers of Jesus and fully convinced about Jesus. And one way we know we are converted is when we stopped being shy about spreading the Good News.
St. Bartholomew, pray for us.
Be Happy. Live Positive. Have Faith. It is well with you. God bless you. (Feast of St. Bartholomew, Apostle. Bible Study: Revelation 21:9-14 and John 1:45-51).