S. Bartholomew, Apostle| Daily Meditation| Daily Quote by S. Padre Pio| Divine Mercy Reflection
In the New Testament, Bartholomew is mentioned only in the lists of the apostles. Some scholars identify him with Nathanael, a man of Cana in Galilee who was summoned to Jesus by Philip. Jesus paid him a great compliment: “Here is a true Israelite. There is no duplicity in him” (John 1:47b). When Nathanael asked how Jesus knew him, Jesus said, “I saw you under the fig tree” (John 1:48b). Whatever amazing revelation this involved, it brought Nathanael to exclaim, “Rabbi, you are the Son of God; you are the King of Israel” (John 1:49b). But Jesus countered with, “Do you believe because I told you that I saw you under the fig tree? You will see greater things than this” (John 1:50b).
Nathanael did see greater things. He was one of those to whom Jesus appeared on the shore of the Sea of Tiberias after his resurrection (see John 21:1-14). They had been fishing all night without success. In the morning, they saw someone standing on the shore though no one knew it was Jesus. He told them to cast their net again, and they made so great a catch that they could not haul the net in. Then John cried out to Peter, “It is the Lord.”
When they brought the boat to shore, they found a fire burning, with some fish laid on it and some bread. Jesus asked them to bring some of the fish they had caught, and invited them to come and eat their meal. John relates that although they knew it was Jesus, none of the apostles presumed to inquire who he was. This, John notes, was the third time Jesus appeared to the apostles.
Bartholomew or Nathanael? We are confronted again with the fact that we know almost nothing about most of the apostles. Yet the unknown ones were also foundation stones, the 12 pillars of the new Israel whose 12 tribes now encompass the whole earth. Their personalities were secondary (without thereby being demeaned) to their great office of bearing tradition from their firsthand experience, speaking in the name of Jesus, putting the Word made flesh into human words for the enlightenment of the world. Their holiness was not an introverted contemplation of their status before God. It was a gift that they had to share with others. The Good News was that all are called to the holiness of being Christ’s members, by the gracious gift of God.
The simple fact is that humanity is totally meaningless unless God is its total concern. Then humanity, made holy with God’s own holiness, becomes the most precious creation of God.
“Like Christ himself, the apostles were unceasingly bent upon bearing witness to the truth of God. They showed special courage in speaking ‘the word of God with boldness’ (Acts 4:31) before the people and their rulers. With a firm faith they held that the gospel is indeed the power of God unto salvation for all who believe.... They followed the example of the gentleness and respectfulness of Christ” (Vatican II, Declaration on Religious Freedom, 11).
Prayer Is a Gift:
Prayer doesn't make God love you more. Sin doesn't make God love you less. His love is not based on our actions. Prayer improves our ability to receive God's love. Sin severs the relationship.
Quote by S. Padre Pio:
If (the past) was used well, let us give glory to God; if badly, let us detest it and confide it to the goodness of the heavenly Father.
Divine Mercy Reflection
Reflections on Notebook Three: 189-236
We continue now to the third notebook that Saint Faustina filled with messages of Mercy from our Lord. As you enter into this notebook, pause and reflect upon all that you have read so far. Has it changed your perspective on life? Has it changed you? If it has, then continue down that same path and trust that the Lord will continue to do great things in your life. If it has not, reflect upon why!
Sometimes we need more than the words we read. We also need true prayer, deep prayer and what we may call “soaking prayer.” Consider this as you read through the reflections flowing from this notebook and allow the words to not only enter your mind, but to also enter deeper. Read them prayerfully and carefully. Speak to our Lord as Saint Faustina did. Read some more of her actual diary in addition to these reflections and learn from her humble and childlike faith.
The Lord wants to do great things in your life! Open the door, through prayer and reflection, and let Him in!
Reflection 236: Praying for Mercy for Everyone
Every person is unique and God wishes to lavish His Mercy upon each and every one of us according to our particular needs. When we pray for people, it’s good to offer them individually as well as by groupings. Here are some groupings of people we ought to pray for: all sinners, priests, religious, the faithful, pagans, atheists, heretics, schismatics, children, those devoted to Mercy, those in Purgatory and the lukewarm. This list is not exhaustive but each grouping needs prayer for a deepening of God’s Mercy in a particular way in their lives. Do not be overwhelmed by the myriad of needs, but know that it is good to pray and offer sacrifice for a different group of people each day so as to slowly offer each and every person to the Mercy of God according to their particular needs (See Diary #1210-1230, Novena given by our Lord).
How attentive are you to the needs of those all around you? Some are strong in their faith and need continual encouragement as they seek to offer their lives fully to the service of God. Others are caught in sin and need to be freed from the burdens and attachments they struggle with. Others are lukewarm, going astray, or lost. Everyone is different and carries particular needs in their lives. You must remember that the Mercy of God is for everyone and will meet the needs of each person in the specific way they need it. The more clearly you see this fact the more you will love each individual as God loves. Your prayers will be one way that you are able to share in the distribution of God’s grace to each person according to their needs.
Lord, give me the grace to be attentive to the needs of all people. Help me to be aware of the ways that Your Mercy is distributed and to share in that distribution through my prayers. May all people come to know and serve You with their whole heart. Jesus, I trust in You.