(c) Mateo Ivankovic 2017


August 24, 2017
St. Bartholomew, Apostle

Dear Family of Mary!

Today we celebrate St. Bartholomew, also called Nathaniel. The Gospel tells us of Nathaniel’s first meeting with Jesus. And Jesus gives Nathaniel a compliment:

Philip found Nathanael and told him,
“We have found the one about whom Moses wrote in the law,
and also the prophets, Jesus son of Joseph, from Nazareth.”
But Nathanael said to him,
“Can anything good come from Nazareth?”
Philip said to him, “Come and see.”
Jesus saw Nathanael coming toward him and said of him,
“Here is a true child of Israel.
There is no duplicity in him.” (Jn 1:45-47)

Jesus perceived that Nathaniel was an honest man, one who always said what he meant and did not intend to manipulate or use anyone. Another word for duplicity is guile. The dictionary tells us this about duplicity:

Duplicity: deceitfulness; double-dealing.

synonyms: deceitfulness · deceit · deception · double-dealing · underhandedness · dishonesty · fraud · fraudulence · sharp practice · chicanery · trickery · subterfuge · skullduggery · treachery · crookedness · shadiness · dirty tricks · shenanigans · monkey business · perfidy

Clearly someone who is duplicitous is not to be trusted. They have no regard for the truth. They are willing to say whatever will serve their purposes, get them what they desire, and convince others to do as they wish.

Nathaniel was not one of those. We might think of some others in Scripture who were duplicitous. Judas comes to mind. He lived with Jesus and Nathaniel for many months, but he was able to kiss Jesus in greeting at the very same moment he was betraying Jesus for 30 pieces of silver.

Our Lady knew both of these men. She understood their hearts. Quietly she prayed for both of them, as she followed Jesus’ public ministry. And so she tells us often to live in truth. Her last 25th message is about truth:

July 25, 2017
“Dear children! Be prayer and a reflection of God’s love for all those who are far from God and God’s commandments. Little children, be faithful and determined in conversion and work on yourselves so that, for you, holiness of life may be truth; and encourage each other in the good through prayer, so that your life on earth may be more pleasant. Thank you for having responded to my call.”

Our holiness must not be for show. Our devotion cannot just be an outward display. That is duplicitous. Our way of life must be true, must come from our heart, and must be authentic. Nathaniel was authentic. We want to be authentic. It means that we live from the heart, and are deeply honest with ourselves, with God, and with one another.

To do this we must “be faithful and determined in conversion and work on [ourselves] so that, for [us], holiness of life may be truth.” It takes prayer and work to remain honest and sincere, choosing the good and encouraging others in the good. But the fruit of such hard work is peace of heart, joy and love!

St. Bartholomew [Nathaniel], Pray for us!!

In Jesus, Mary and Joseph!
Cathy Nolan
©Mary TV 2017