Wasn’t there a St Bartholomew’s Fair in merry old England? Our lives are no longer ruled by saints days and seasons….unless one lives in a monastery! This day in August is St Bartholomew’s day, however.
St. Nathaniel (aka St Bartholomew) is mentioned in the Bible as having been brought to Jesus of Nazareth by Philip, another early disciple and Apostle. This narrative is found in the Gospel of St.John and is the sum of what we know about him [John 1:45-51] except that legend says that he carried the Good News to Asia where he died a gruesome death while witnessing to his Risen Lord.
Have you ever wondered what he saw when he looked on Jesus that first time and heard his voice? He gives an immediate witness, “You are the Son of God; you are the King of Israel!” He did not even know Jesus! Then Jesus tells him, “You will see heaven opened and the angels of God ascending and descending on the Son of Man.” (aka, Jesus)
Could it be that at the bitter end of his life as he was being carved up (I mean it was grim!) – did he look up and SEE – see the heavens open and his Lord Jesus not just standing there but as the eternal “connection” between our ugly fallen world and the heaven of angels – did he see Jesus as the ladder of mercy that eternally forms the salvation of our otherwise hopeless world? Did he see this as a confirmation of his life and witness? In some way, I think so. May it be not less so for us.