5th JANUARY 2023

John 1:43-51 – See you in Heaven



1 Jn 3: 11-21;                         Ps 100: 1-5;                Jn 1: 43-51




Yesterday in the liturgy, we saw how Andrew and another unnamed disciple of John followed Jesus. Andrew is so touched and moved by his encounter with Jesus that he goes and calls his brother, Simon (Jn 1:35-42). Today, we see how Philip follows Jesus and brings Nathanael to Jesus! In both these instances, vocations are a result of reciprocal communications between the first disciples. Can’t we too do the same?


When does Nathanael make up his mind to follow Jesus? When Jesus says that he had seen him under the fig tree. There is a tradition stating that the rabbis studied the law “under a fig tree” (Midrash Rabba on Eccl. 5:11). One of the obvious reasons, would be that figs were leafy trees and gave the much needed shade from the scorching sun. So Jesus is in a way saying to Nathanael, that he is aware he was studying the Scriptures. But is that enough? It is not enough that we just read and study the Scriptures. Its only when we encounter Christ personally through the Scriptures that things begin to happen. Both Andrew and Philip were true seekers. When they both express: “We have found the Messiah” (vv. 41, 45) it naturally implies a search. How passionate are we in finding the Lord, and how ardently do we desire to meet him?


In Nathanael, we can say that he represents the purely human vision. He looks at Jesus and disregards him because of the insignificance of the place he came from. Almost with contempt he exclaims, “Can anything good come out of Nazareth?” Now see the way Jesus looks at him. It gives us a glimpse of what God sees, when he searches our hearts and minds, not just looks at our outward appearance. The anonymous author of the classical treatise on contemplative prayer, The Cloud of Unknowing, puts it beautifully: “It is not what you are nor what you have been that God sees with his all-merciful eyes, but what you desire to be.” This could be termed the divine vision. 


Response: Cry out with joy to the Lord, all the earth.

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