A reading from the gospel according to John 1:47-51
47 Jesus saw Nathanael coming toward him and said of him, “Here is a true child of Israel. There is no duplicity in him.”
48 Nathanael said to him, “How do you know me?” Jesus answered and said to him, “Before Philip called you, I saw you under the fig tree.”
49 Nathanael answered him, “Rabbi, you are the Son of God; you are the King of Israel.”
50 Jesus answered and said to him, “Do you believe because I told you that I saw you under the fig tree? You will see greater things than this.”
51 And he said to him, “Amen, amen, I say to you, you will see heaven opened and the angels of God ascending and descending on the Son of Man.”
Reflection: True Child
Good News: We will see heaven opened.
Pointers for reflection:
1. Nathanael comes toward Jesus. Imagine yourself approaching Jesus like Nathanael. Jesus looks at you in the eye and opens his arms to welcome you. Your life is about to change. You feel at ease, at peace and full of joy.
2. A true child of Israel. You have known Jesus for a while but you struggle to know who you really are. There were some moments in your life that you doubt if there is anyone who can really accept you and love you. Perhaps some people rejected you or your loved ones seem not to care. Then you hear Jesus whisper to you, “You are my child, my beloved child.” How does it feel?
3. How do you know me? For some of us, we have a lot that is hidden to others. We have secrets and we are too afraid to let others have a peek into our dark corners. Yet we long for friends who can accept us for who we are. In other words, each one of must learn to accept one another even if we are aware of each other’s weaknesses and wickedness. Let us love one another as Jesus loved us (John 13:34).
4. Jesus knows us more than we know ourselves. For Him, nothing is secret. It is therefore better to surrender everything to Him. In the first place, it is His will to free us from our fears and enslavements. He is our savior who died for us. We pray for the Holy Spirit to help us see ourselves as God sees us.
5. Like Nathanael, let us recognize Jesus as the Son of God and our king. As we surrender to Him, our king, let us make Him take control of our life especially the parts which bother us.
6. Our faith will allow us to see greater things. With our faith, we will see heaven opened and the angels of God descend and ascend on our Lord who is the way, the truth and the life.
For further reflection, please see August 24 gospel reflection.
Commentary: Angels of God
• The word “angel” comes from the Greek word angelos which means “messenger” or “announcer.”
• The bible offers a lot of evidence on their existence. Some verses are the following:
Daniel 8:15–26, 9:21–27 – The archangel Gabriel appears to the prophet Daniel to explain his visions
Daniel 10:13–21 – Archangel Michael is identified as the protector of Israelites
Daniel 12:1 – Archangel Michael will arise during the “time of the end”.
Tobit 12:15 – “I am Raphael, one of the seven holy angels who present the prayers of the saints and enter into the presence of the glory of the Holy One.”
Luke 1:11–38 – Gabriel announces the birth of John the Baptist and Jesus
1 Thessalonians 4:16 – “with the voice of the archangel, and with the trumpet call of God”
Jude 1:9 – “Yet Michael the archangel, when contending with the devil he disputed about the body of Moses, durst not bring against him a railing accusation, but said, The Lord rebuke thee”
Revelations 12:7-9 – Archangel Michael defeats the dragon in a war in heaven.