HOMILY FOR THE FEAST OF SAINT BARTHOLOMEW
THEME: WORSHIP GOD IN TRUTH AND SPIRIT
BY: Fr. Justin Nzekwe
HOMILY FOR WEDNESDAY AUGUST 24 2022
People often cite this quotation from the gospel reading of today that says: “Can anything good come from Nazareth?” Human beings are quick to look down on others or judge them as less worthy. We judge people from the opinion of others instead of by our personal encounter with them. Sometimes, we are quick to use the actions of a few persons to judge an entire family, or group of people, or even a nation. The truth remains that in every nation we can find good people as well as bad people. Even among the twelve apostles carefully selected by Jesus, they have Judas among them. Fortunately, God look out for individuals and people who serve him in truth and justice. God do not behave like human beings. He spreads his blessings to anyone, any people and any nation according to his wishes and purposes. Saint Peter exclaimed saying: “I have now seen how true it is that God has no favorite, God is no respecter of persons.” God intentionally chose a small city, Nazareth as the place of birth of His son Jesus Christ, so that those who think they are more righteous than others may learn to be humble before God.
However, in spite of the negative comment made by Nathaniel about Jesus’ hometown, Jesus still made this remark about him: “Here is the true Israelite without guile.” Can such a beautiful remark be made about you? Can people describe you as that man or woman in whom there is no falsehood? God desires that people who worship him should approach him with open heart and without guile. They should be people who worship him in truth and spirit. They should be people who respect God and treat their fellow human beings with love and compassion. When we come closer to God, he helps us to understand ourselves better. But above all just like Jesus assured Nathaniel, beyond other earthly benefits of following him, he says, “In truth, in truth I tell you: you will see heaven open and the angels of God ascend and descend upon the Son of man “. Today we celebrate Saint Bartholomew, who now is in heaven with the angels as they worship God endlessly. He was one of the Twelve Apostles of Jesus Christ. It was said that after the Ascension, he traveled to the east, and then onto Greater Armenia. According to history, he was beheaded there for converting the king to Christianity.
We pray through his intercession, that God will grant us the grace to worship him in truth and in spirit so as to be worthy to enter his kingdom on the last day.