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George Carroll

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Blogs by George Carroll

Comments on daily Scripture
8/24/2011 5:30:07 AM    [ Flag as Spam or Inappropriate ]

Mass Reading & Meditation for August 24, 2011
Catholic Meditations
Meditation: John 1:45-51

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St. Bartholomew<

You will see heaven opened. (John 1:51)

Under a fig tree. That’s where Nathanael (Bartholomew) was when Jesus “saw” him (John 1:48). What was he doing there? Eating lunch? Thinking about his to-do list? Daydreaming? Some have speculated that because it was traditional to study the Scriptures under a fig tree, Nathanael may have been meditating on God’s promises. If so, it was the perfect prelude to meeting Jesus.

For centuries, God’s promises had sustained Israel with powerful visions of hope. A radiant bride, a city and temple shimmering with the glory of the Lord—the images pointed to a peaceful future when God would live among his people and make them into a light to the other nations. Nathanael must have drawn strength from reflecting on this life to come, even as he suffered under Roman occupation. Perhaps this gave him eyes to recognize Jesus as the “Son of God” and “King of Israel” who would set things right (John 1:49). And Jesus replied, in essence: Keep watching. Have faith. You haven’t seen anything yet!

That’s what Jesus tells us, too. Like Nathanael, we have wonderful images of the life to come. And we even know that this life has already begun. Baptized into Christ, we have been saved, made into God’s people and citizens of heaven. Now, as St. Catherine of Siena said: “All the way to heaven is heaven.” Just as Nathanael sat under a fig tree contemplating God’s promises, we too can set aside time for quiet, hopeful contemplation. We can try to imagine what heaven will be like. We can imagine Jesus surrounded by the angels and saints. We can even think about our loved ones who have gone before us and picture them with Jesus, praying for us, cheering us on, and rejoicing every time we act in faith.

Today, then, go and sit under your fig tree, wherever that may be—an armchair, your prayer corner, the Adoration chapel. If you don’t have one, find the place wherever prayer comes easiest. Lift your heart to the Lord and let his promises fill your mind. Then be still, and listen for his voice.

“Jesus, by your cross and resurrection, you have thrown heaven wide open. Let me see your glory and follow your gospel!”

Revelation 21:9-14;

Psalm 145:10-13,17-18


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