First reading Apocalypse 21:9-14

He showed me Jerusalem, the holy city, coming down from God out of heaven

The angel came to speak to me, and said, ‘Come here and I will show you the bride that the Lamb has married.’ In the spirit, he took me to the top of an enormous high mountain and showed me Jerusalem, the holy city, coming down from God out of heaven. It had all the radiant glory of God and glittered like some precious jewel of crystal-clear diamond. The walls of it were of a great height, and had twelve gates; at each of the twelve gates there was an angel, and over the gates were written the names of the twelve tribes of Israel; on the east there were three gates, on the north three gates, on the south three gates, and on the west three gates. The city walls stood on twelve foundation stones, each one of which bore the name of one of the twelve apostles of the Lamb.
 
 

Responsorial Psalm 144(145):10-13a,17-18

Your friends, O Lord, make known the glorious splendour of your reign.
 
All your creatures shall thank you, O Lord,
  and your friends shall repeat their blessing.
They shall speak of the glory of your reign
  and declare your might, O God.
 
They make known to men your mighty deeds
  and the glorious splendour of your reign.
Yours is an everlasting kingdom;
  your rule lasts from age to age.
 
The Lord is just in all his ways
  and loving in all his deeds.
He is close to all who call him,
  who call on him from their hearts.
 
 

Gospel John 1:45-51

You will see heaven laid open, and the Son of Man

Philip found Nathanael and said to him, ‘We have found the one Moses wrote about in the Law, the one about whom the prophets wrote: he is Jesus son of Joseph, from Nazareth.’ ‘From Nazareth?’ said Nathanael ‘Can anything good come from that place?’ ‘Come and see’ replied Philip. When Jesus saw Nathanael coming he said of him, ‘There is an Israelite who deserves the name, incapable of deceit.’ ‘How do you know me?’ said Nathanael. ‘Before Philip came to call you,’ said Jesus ‘I saw you under the fig tree.’ Nathanael answered, ‘Rabbi, you are the Son of God, you are the King of Israel.’ Jesus replied, ‘You believe that just because I said: I saw you under the fig tree. You will see greater things than that.’ And then he added ‘I tell you most solemnly, you will see heaven laid open and, above the Son of Man, the angels of God ascending and descending.’
 
 
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Come and see

It is traditionally understood that St. Bartholomew refers to Nathanael in today’s gospel. In this passage, Philip went looking for his friend, Nathanael, and shared his experience with Jesus. He became an instrument to bring his friend to Jesus and Jesus to his friend. Because of Philip’s “Come and see”, Nathanael himself had a life-transforming encounter with Jesus and responded to the call to become His disciple. From that one encounter with Christ, Nathanael’s whole life direction changed, and he lived totally with Jesus and for Jesus.
 
In the same way, Nathanael had Philip to lead him to Jesus, we too have family members, religious people, friends, mentors, etc., who have played a part in bringing us closer to Jesus. Today, we can give thanks with grateful hearts to God for these people for sowing and cultivating the seeds of faith in us. In the same way, we are called to play our part to bring people to Jesus: “Come and see. Come and experience. Come and know.” We will never know how our life, words and deeds can influence others towards having greater faith and love for Jesus.
 
Reflective question:
How can I help others to draw closer to Jesus?
 
 
Acknowledgment: Reflections are based on “Prayer for Living: The Word of God for Daily Prayer Year A” by Sr Sandra Seow FMVD.