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John 1:47-51

The Word of God

When Jesus saw Nathanael coming towards him, he said of him, ‘Here is truly an Israelite in whom there is no deceit!’ Nathanael asked him, ‘Where did you come to know me?’ Jesus answered, ‘I saw you under the fig tree before Philip called you.’ Nathanael replied, ‘Rabbi, you are the Son of God! You are the King of Israel!’ Jesus answered, ‘Do you believe because I told you that I saw you under the fig tree? You will see greater things than these.’ And he said to him, ‘Very truly, I tell you, you will see heaven opened and the angels of God ascending and descending upon the Son of Man.’

John 1:47-51
  • Some thoughts on today's scripture

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    • We celebrate today the feast of three archangels, Michael (Who is like God?) is the protector from the snares of the devil, Gabriel (Strength of God) announced to Zachariah the forthcoming birth of John the Baptist, and to Mary, the birth of Jesus, Raphael (Medicine of God) is the archangel who looked after Tobias on his journey.
    • Let us reflect on the roles of the three Archangels. Michael, our protector against the snares of the devil, prompts us to ask if we are aware of the work of the devil in our lives. Recalling the temptation of Christ, we can be assured that if Satan went after Jesus, he will go after us. Gabriel, the messenger to Zachariah and Mary, suggests that we ask ourselves how we react to the call of God in the changing movements of our lives. Raphael recalls our Guardian Angels, our personal protectors. Do our guardian angels feel unemployed because we give them so little attention?
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    • Angels could be said to be both messengers and messages from God. The three angels which we celebrate today, Saints Michael, Gabriel and Raphael, are referred to in the Bible:- Michael won the battle over Satan when Satan confronted God. For many years we prayed at the end of the Eucharist that he might defend us in the hour of conflict. Raphael was the helper of Tobit and his family in their sufferings and misfortunes. Gabriel announced to Mary that she was to be the mother of Jesus.
    • The Gospel story chosen for their feast reminds us that Jesus is the special messenger and message from God, and that all that God wishes to do and say to us is now done through Him. The image of the ladder refers to the lovely communication between Jesus and his Father of messages coming and going between them on our behalf so that we might share in their unity. May they be one in us Father as we are one, Amen.
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    • Jesus witnessed some aspect of Nathanael that seemed to surprise him; there are hidden and secret aspects of my life too that are known and valued by God.
    • Jesus lifts Nathanael’s eyes from the everyday and prompts him to think of heaven; I might consider my hoped-for destination and see how my daily concerns are enlightened and brought into another perspective.
  • Some thoughts on today's scripture

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    • Jesus, when you see me coming towards you, what do you say? Help me to be like Nathanael, whose heart was without deceit. He is genuine: he asks Jesus a straight question and follows up with a dramatic statement of his belief, which must have pleased Jesus.
    • Jesus, you reward Nathanael by hinting at a new level of disclosure and intimacy between yourself and him. Please be patient with me and ‘grant that I may see you more clearly, love you more dearly, and follow you more nearly’, as the old prayer has it.
  • Some thoughts on today's scripture

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    • God knows who we are, seeing how our hearts are moved even in quiet and hidden times – ‘under the fig tree’. Jesus was not talking about angels as cute, sparkly or pretty decorations but was speaking of the messengers of God. My time of prayer is a time for me to expect, recognise, receive and savour God’s messages to me, which are given in many ways. This time of quiet helps me to wait in trust.
  • Some thoughts on today's scripture

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    • Jesus witnessed some aspect of Nathanael that seemed to surprise him; there are hidden and secret aspects of my life too that are known and valued by God.
    • Jesus lifts Nathanael’s eyes from the everyday and prompts him to think of heaven; I might consider my hoped-for destination and see how my daily concerns are enlightened and brought into another perspective.
  • Some thoughts on today's scripture

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    • If I came towards you, Lord, what would you say of me? I tremble at the thought. I would wish to show a heart without deceit, and remember the words of Rumi, the Sufi poet: /In the presence of His Glory, closely watch your heart, so your thoughts won't shame you, for He sees guilt, opinion, and desire as plainly as a hair in pure milk./