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"Put on then, as God's chosen ones, holy and beloved, heartfelt compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness, and patience," (Col 3:12)

06 January 2024

Jn 1:43-51 - ..."Here is a true child of Israel. There is no duplicity in him." ...

Jn 1:43-51

Jesus decided to go to Galilee, and he found Philip.
And Jesus said to him, "Follow me."
Now Philip was from Bethsaida, the town of Andrew and Peter.
Philip found Nathanael and told him,
"We have found the one about whom Moses wrote in the law,
and also the prophets, Jesus, son of Joseph, from Nazareth."
But Nathanael said to him,
"Can anything good come from Nazareth?"
Philip said to him, "Come and see."
Jesus saw Nathanael coming toward him and said of him,
"Here is a true child of Israel.
There is no duplicity in him."
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."
Nathanael answered him,
"Rabbi, you are the Son of God; you are the King of Israel."
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."
And he said to him, "Amen, amen, I say to you,
you will see the sky opened and the angels of God
ascending and descending on the Son of Man."


Saint John tells us today that we should try to love not with words, but with actions. Children, let us love not in word or speech but in deed and truth. Words speak of love, actions prove it. Words give shape to love, actions give life to love, they make our love alive. Love limited only to the level of words or promises, which is not confirmed by specific actions, may turn out to be false. As an example of this, Saint John mentions the figures of Cain and Abel, brothers who were close to each other on the outside, but far apart in their hearts. Cain, although he probably told his brother that he loved him and smiled at him, had deep hatred in his heart, which he showed in a specific, unfortunately evil act, which was killing Abel. You cannot be false in love, because such love kills. In love, you have to be true, that is, have the right balance between what you say and what you do. Saying shortly, the worst attitude that kills our love is falsehood. It can be seen in many of our behaviors and situations, such as: criticizing, judging, comparing ourselves with others, envy, being offended, hating. It often happens that the people we smile at, we judge in our hearts or we later gossip about with other people. It looks good on the outside but terribly in the heart. Terribly because in our hearts we feel a dissonance between what we say and what we do. We just feel like we're not real. Saint John compares such people to murderers, and he is quite right, because you do not need a knife or a gun to injure or destroy someone's life. Sometimes just a few words are enough, sometimes one act of jealousy provoke a tragedy between us. Remorse is always the same, whether in the face of murder, theft, anger, quarreling, or insulting someone. Evil always hurts, in a smaller or larger way, but it hurts. That is why we must try to be a true person, in whom there is no falsehood, who treats love with respect and responsibility, because it is not only about my life, but also about the lives of other people whom God has placed in my path. A perfect example of this are Jesus' words about Nathanael in today's Gospel. Jesus calls him a true Israelite, and the word Israelite translates as "one who makes war with God, who fights against God.” Jesus does not say about him that he is a strong man, a sensitive person, but a true Israelite who, if necessary, is not afraid to say something difficult even to God, does not pretend that everything and always is good, that there are no problems, that his relationship with God is as sweet as candy. Nathanael is true because his words correspond to his actions, always, in every situation, both good and difficult. A true man is not the one who always says kind words, but also the one who fights, not afraid to say difficult and painful words in the name of love, who does not hide them in his heart, pretending that they are not there and then turning them into anger, judgment or criticism. It is not known what Nathanael was doing under the fig tree. Maybe he had a difficult conversation with God, maybe he argued with Him, maybe he gave Him his heart, which was full of hatred towards someone. One thing is certain, he did something that Jesus considered very noble and praised him for being mature in his feelings and his attitude. If Cain had been the same towards God and given all his jealousy to Him, maybe he would not have killed his brother. If, instead of confronting difficult feelings or situations ourselves, we gave them to God, perhaps our relationships with others would be better, free of anger, jealousy and envy.

Father Marcin Cwierz, OSPPE

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"Put on then, as God's chosen ones, holy and beloved, heartfelt compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness, and patience," (Col 3:12)  

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