Aug. 24, 2016

The joy of a shared success story

"Come and see" (Jn.1:46)- Feast of Saint Bartholomew

I kept thinking about what this expression meant to Bartholomew whose feast we celebrate today. His brother Philip was the secret behind his success story. Philip played an important role in Bartholomew becoming a disciple of Jesus. He was the person said to him about Christ, "Come and see". The same statement that Christ made to the first two apostles he called when they asked him, "Rabbi, where do you live?" (Jn.1:38-39). Barthlomew (Nathanael) asks his brother Philip, "Can anything good come from Galilee?" The response he got from him was, "Come and see" (Jn.1:46).

Seeing Bartholomew, Christ exclaimed, "There, truly, is an Israelite in whom there is no deception" (Jn.1:47). Could that be his testimonial, his resume for being a disciple? That looks like the reflection of the beatitude, "Blessed are the pure in heart for they shall see God". Bartholomew was indeed privileged to behold the Son of God. 

The expression, "Come and see", indicates special invitation. Bartholomew was invited to Jesus. He was invited to a special relationship with the savior. He was open to that invitation. He established a unique friendship with the Messiah.

"Come and see" also implies followership. To be a disciple of Christ, one must be ready to follow. That means total abandonment of the desires of the world. Bartholomew expressed willingness to follow and to sacrifice for Christ. He was ready to commit to the Lord. He was willing to serve.

"Come and see" can further imply a revelation of the obbject of invitation, in this case, to see Jesus. Seeing Jesus goes beyond mere looking at him. It means knowing him. To establish a relationship with Christ and to be able to follow him, the individual has to know Him. Bartholomew tells Christ, "Rabbi, you are the Son of God, you are the king of Israel", and Christ responds, "You believe that just because I said I saw you under the fig tree. You are going to see greater things than that" (Jn.1:49-50). Barthomew was willing to see greater things than he saw. He was willing to know Jesus as his Lord and savior.

Further more, "Come and see" implies companionship. In the case of the first apostles called- Andrew, Simon, Philip, Nathanael-, we notice the importance of companionship. One who is called, calls the other. In the end also, Christ sent his disciples out in twos. Does that make any meaning to you? "Come and see" then becomes a commitment to God and to one another, a commitment to family life, to brothers and sisters. 

Our life is relational. We have to be channels, bridges that transmit goodness to others. When you are blessed, God expects you to bless others. God doesn't want you to hoard his goodness. He wants you to lead others to the treasures of salvation. God wants you to lead others- lead your friends, lead your colleagues, lead your family to him. He wants you to be pace setter for others. Bringing goodness to others does not dimish goodness, rather it enhances and increases it. That's a great lesson from both Philip and Bartholomew; to "Come and see".

Can you let God use you today to bring someone to something real good? It could be to the church, good job, good resources, good place, that the person will ever cherish. "Come and see" means, "I have seen", then I want you to see". It means, "let's share the joy of seeing together". It means, as the Psalmist said, to taste and see the Lord's goodness. Just count yourself blessed to be the means to someone's success story.