Happy Feast Day! Every year on this day we hear the same Gospel reading - the call of Bartholomew.
And every year the exact same part of that story always stands out for me. The comment about why Jesus chose Bartholomew - ‘he found no duplicity in him.’
Our patron saint has a lot of interceding to do for us. Because Bartholomew had a great purity in his faith, and for that Jesus promised that he would see far greater things than he could have imagined.
Jesus offers us the same. Our Parish, our families, Jesus offers all of us together the promise of greater things yet to come. And we all know how much we need that! All the ways in our lives in which we need to encounter greater things - greater faith, greater healing, greater wholeness, greater sanity just to get through our everyday moments! All the ways in which our life is disjointed.
All of that will come to us, if we live the faith of our Patron Bartholomew - Bartholomew who unlike Peter or Paul didn’t do any great or memorable things, but instead he just followed Jesus faithfully - with no duplicity. He talked the talk and walked the walk. He lived the faith - as best he could, with God’s Grace.
For you and I, we are called to do the same. To stop the parts of ourselves that tend toward a duplicity of faith - when we say we love Jesus, but then our words and actions, our gossip, our lack of charity, our refusal to forgive, our hardened hearts speak of something else.
On our feast day - it’s a good time for all of us, you pastor, your parish staff, parish leadership, every single one of us who call this place our home, for all of us to strive to be like Bartholomew, in complete humility - to put to death the parts of us that are not yet fully conformed to Jesus, and to embrace the abundant life He calls us to.
May God give us the Grace, the purity, the humility, the discipline in the faith - to follow Him unreservedly - that we might truly see the great things He has in store for us right here in this holy place. God help us all. +