Feast of Saint Bartholomew, Apostle
Coming to know and, ultimately, to trust someone is a process, sometimes one that takes a very long time.
Think back: Have you ever had a powerful experience of God: that is, of the Father, or of the Son, or of the Holy Spirit? One where you can’t quite grasp the grandeur of it all or explain it to others, still an experience where you were personally certain that the presence of God was very, very near to you?
Stay in the moment: Where were you? Who was present to you, do you think (Father, Son, Spirit)? What were you feeling as this God was so close to you? Faith… hope… love… joy… peace… patience… kindness… goodness… faithfulness… gentleness… self-controlled? Something else of God? How would you describe it? Calm? Cared-for? Loved?
We turn to today’s Scripture, prayerfully:
Jesus saw Nathanael coming toward him and said of him,
“Here is a true child of Israel.
There is no duplicity in him.”
Nathanael said to him, “How do you know me?”
Jesus answered and said to him,
“Before Philip called you, I saw you under the fig tree.”
Nathanael is personally known by Jesus. And wouldn’t each of us like Jesus to say of us publicly: “There is no duplicity in her/him.” Nathanael doesn’t say one thing and do another; he practices what he preaches, just about all the time. He’s trustworthy and without guile. This is Nathanael.
How much more trustworthy, then, is Jesus, is the Father, is the Spirit, to us?
Go back to your moment with God: Have you doubted this God since that moment of certain and felt closeness? Is this doubt coming from, what Saint Ignatius of Loyola calls, “The Good Spirit,” in other words, from God? Or, is this doubt coming from another spirit, one that is not of God, one that disturbs your faith, hope, love, joy, peace, and all the rest?
Christians need not be on a bubbly cloud, 24/7; feeling compunction, the pricking of one’s well-formed conscience, is a good thing because we know we have not been our better self and that our loving God, who knows and trusts us, is there to guide us. Yet, dream for a moment that God would rather see you, be with you, desire you, know you, … and more often … in a disposition like the one you contemplated above, where you felt near to and known by Him.
Let us beg for the grace of feeling close to and personally known by the guileless God of love and consolation, who knows us even before He calls us.