Today the Church celebrates the feast of St. Bartholomew. Bartholomew is listed among the Twelve. He was brought to Jesus by the Apostle Philip. Tradition tells us that he preached the Gospel in India, where he was rewarded with the crown of martyrdom. The first reading today is from Revelation 21, where we get a glimpse of the new Jerusalem. “The wall of the city had twelve courses of stones as its foundation, on which were inscribed the twelve names of the twelve Apostles of the Lamb.” One of those, of course, would be Bartholomew.
Our Gospel reading today is from John 1. We see Philip bringing a man named Nathanael to Jesus. It is believed that Nathanael and Bartholomew are one and the same. Nathanael asks Philip, “Can anything good come from Nazareth?” As Nathanael approaches, Jesus says, “Here is a true child of Israel. There is no duplicity in him.” They then have a very interesting exchange. I hope you will take the time to read it.
Duplicity is defined as deceitfulness in speech or conduct; speaking or acting in two different ways concerning the same matter with intent to deceive. Sound familiar? While everything in me wants to scream, “Politician!!”, we can all be guilty of duplicity. Being hypocritical or two-faced. We can do this with one another, and even with God. St. Bartholomew had none of this. Can we get rid of ours?
Father, forgive us for those times when we talk out both sides of our mouths. Forgive us for those times when we seek to deceive. Rid us of our own duplicity today. Amen.