HOMILY FOR THE FEAST OF SAINT BARTHOLOMEW







HOMILY FOR THE FEAST OF SAINT BARTHOLOMEW

THEME: AGENTS OF EVANGELIZATION

BY: Fr A. N Abiagom, CM

HOMILY FOR WEDNESDAY AUGUST 24 2022

 

In the gospel of St. John, a name not mentioned in the Synoptic gospels (Mathew, Mark and Luke) is mentioned in relation to the apostles of Jesus Christ. Nathaniel is mentioned as being present with the apostles after the resurrection of Christ (Jn 21:2). In the gospel reading (Jn 1:45-51) he is led by Philip to Jesus, just as Andrew led Peter to Jesus (Jn 1:42). Thus, the gospel reading attests to the call of Nathaniel in light of his encounter with Jesus.

Who was Nathaniel and why the emphasis on Nathaniel instead of St. Bartholomew whose feast day we are celebrating today?

Many Scripture scholars agree that Nathaniel is the same person as Bartholomew. They arrive at this view on three grounds:

(i) In the gospel of John, the nature of his call is similar to that of Peter.

(ii) He was with the apostles after the resurrection of Jesus as recorded in John’s gospel.

(iii) In the listing of the apostles in the Synoptic gospels, Bartholomew is regularly mentioned after Philip (Mt 10:3, Mk 3:18; Lk 6:14).

The role that Philip played in Nathaniel’s (Bartholomew’s) encounter of the Lord is significant. As children of God whom through baptism have become members of the Church, we all are agents of evangelization. In the Apostolic Exhortation of Pope Paul VI, “Evangelii Nuntiandi” (Dec 8, 1975) the mission of evangelization is one that includes all the members of the Church.

As Christians, we are not only to care about our individual salvation. We are expected to make genuine efforts to bringing or leading others to Christ. Spreading the gospel of Christ requires more than words. Our action should speak louder than our voice. According to St. Francis, “love should be real among us, and words should only be used if necessary.”

In our respective families, communities and societies, we are to allow the light of Christ to shine through us to others. We are to preach love, act love, and be ready to lay down our lives for love.

Today we put on the red vestment because Bartholomew died for the love of Christ in the course of his bearing witness to the gospel of salvation.

Through the intercession of St. Bartholomew, may we remain faithful to Christ in being his disciples, bearing witness to gospel of salvation in our words and deeds all the days of our lives (Amen).

Love.

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