“Bartholomew” was one of the first followers of Jesus. This apostle’s other name was Nathaniel. He came from Cana in Galilee and became a disciple of Jesus when his friend Philip invited him to come and meet the Lord.
Nathaniel received high praise from Jesus, who said, as soon as he saw him, “Here is a man in whom there is no guile.” Jesus meant that Nathaniel was an honest, sincere man who would never cheat anyone.
Nathaniel was very surprised to hear those words from Jesus. “How do you know me?” he asked. “Before Philip called you,” Jesus answered, “I saw you under the fig tree.” That was a favorite place that Nathaniel used for prayer.
Nathaniel must have realized then that Jesus had read his heart as he prayed. “Master!” he cried. “You are the Son of God, the King of Israel.” And Nathaniel became one of the Lord’s faithful apostles.
Like the other apostles, Nathaniel, or Bartholomew, preached the Gospel of Jesus even though his life was in danger. He went to India, Armenia and other lands and preached with great feeling, until he gave his life for the faith.
And so, to the reward of an apostle, St. Bartholomew added the martyr’s crown
Reflection: Let us be ready in offering our lives to the Master. We should not be afraid to stand for the truth. May our lives be a pleasing oblation to God and “be without guile” as St. Bartholomew.
Prayer: Strengthen in us, O Lord, the faith, by which the blessed Apostle Bartholomew clung wholeheartedly to your Son, and grant that through the help of his prayers your Church may become for all the nations the sacrament of salvation. Through our Lord Jesus Christ, your Son, who lives and reigns with you in the unity of the Holy Spirit, one God, for ever and ever. Amen.