Readings for Monday August 24, 2009
Feast of Saint Bartholomew, apostle
First Reading: Revelation 21:9-14
Responsorial Psalm: Psalm 145
Gospel: John 1:45-51
Jesus answered and said to him, “Before Philip called you, I saw you under the fig tree.” Nathanael answered him, “Rabbi, you are the Son of God; you are the King of Israel.” Jesus answered and said to him, “Do you believe because I told you that I saw you under the fig tree? You will see greater things than this.” And he said to him, “Amen, amen, I say to you, you will see heaven opened and the angels of God ascending and descending on the Son of Man.” (John 1:48-51)
If there is one thing that my family has taught me, it is that the best is always yet to come. I remember after first meeting my wife, there were certain things that happened that I just thought that things couldn't get any better than this; the first kiss, proposing to her, our wedding, finding out we were pregnant. When our daughter was first born, once again I couldn't imagine things getting any better, but once again the best was (and still is) yet to come. While she is only five months old, I am still amazed at the changes that have taken place. She has gone from a newborn who really just ate, slept and looked precious all day to a five month old who smiles, laughs, reaches for everything to go into her mouth, and rolls around. I know that the best is certainly still yet to come in both my marriage and in my family.
And so this idea that the best is yet to come also holds true in our faith lives as well. In today's gospel, Nathanael tells Jesus that he believes that He is the true Son of God and that Jesus is the King of Israel. Jesus response is basically, "oh you believe this because I said I saw you under the tree? Oh just wait, you haven't seen anything yet!" Jesus tells Nathanael that the best is yet to come, and that there is so much in store for him in the future. We also read of the Saint John's vision of the New Jerusalem coming down from heaven, revealing to us all that God has much more in store for us in the future.
But of course if the best is yet to come, and if we do want to be made worthy of the promises of Christ, then we must be willing to follow Him in this life. We must be willing to sacrifice for Him who sacrificed for us. We must be willing to let go of the things of this world and cling to Christ and His ways. If we truly live a life of faith and a life devoted to our Lord then the best really is yet to come.
Father above, we thank you and praise you for the gift of this day. Thank you for the opportunity to go out to love, serve and honor you in all that we do Lord. Jesus, we know that you come to offer us life and that you always keep your promises, help us to follow you more closely. We pray for all of our priests, that they may be strengthened in their vows and in their ministries. We pray for all those discerning religious life, that your will may be made clear to them. We ask this all through Christ our Lord. Amen.