Mass Reading & Meditation for January 5, 2013
Meditation: John 1:43-51
Saint John Neumann, Bishop
I saw you under the fig tree. (John 1:48)
What a U-turn! One moment, Nathanael is sitting quietly under a fig tree, and the next moment he is confessing that Jesus is the “King of Israel” (John 1:49).
What happened? When Philip first told him about Jesus, Nathanael was skeptical. “Can anything good come from Nazareth?” he asked. Still, he let Philip bring him to Jesus, so there must have been some openness. When he heard that Jesus saw him under the fig tree even before Philip called him, his heart was stirred. Sitting under a tree seemed like such a simple thing. Why would this rabbi from Nazareth even bother to take note of it? Somehow in the course of this exchange, Nathanael was able to sense that God cared about even the smallest details of his life.
God wants all of us to know that his eyes are always on us. He sees us in the midst of our everyday lives and calls out to us. No matter what we are doing, God is always ready to touch our hearts and open our eyes. We are so precious to him that he will never leave us!
As his heart was stirred, Nathanael let go of his skepticism. He wanted to hear more of what Jesus had to say. But it wasn’t the time for more insights or information. Instead, Jesus promised Nathanael something even better: he would see “angels of God ascending and descending on the Son of Man” (John 1:51). Not only did Jesus take an interest in Nathanael’s life, he would open his eyes to the very mysteries of heaven. It was as if Jesus were saying, “Yes, God knows you and loves you, but you are going to know him as well.”
This story tells us that God wants to stir our hearts, just as he stirred Nathanael’s heart. It tells us that he wants to speak to us and show us his love and his glory. We all have our own “fig tree” that God wants to call us out from so that we can stand in the light of his presence. So accept his invitation today, and let him open your eyes.
“Jesus, I say yes to your call. Thank you for promising to show yourself to me. Come, Lord, and open my eyes to what really matters.”
1 John 3:11-21; Psalm 100:1-5