Faith Daily | 5 January 2021
PRAYER of the WEEK Epiphany
by the leading of a star
you manifested your only-begotten Son to the Gentiles:
mercifully grant, that we, who know you now by faith,
may after this life be led to the vision
of your glorious Godhead;
through Jesus Christ our Lord.
GOSPEL for the Day: John 1: 43-51
43The next day Jesus decided to go to Galilee. He found Philip and said to him, “Follow me.” 44Now Philip was from Bethsaida, the city of Andrew and Peter. 45Philip found Nathanael and said to him, “We have found him about whom Moses in the law and also the prophets wrote, Jesus son of Joseph from Nazareth.” 46Nathanael said to him, “Can anything good come out of Nazareth?” Philip said to him, “Come and see.” 47When Jesus saw Nathanael coming toward him, he said of him, “Here is truly an Israelite in whom there is no deceit!” 48Nathanael asked him, “Where did you get to know me?” Jesus answered, “I saw you under the fig tree before Philip called you.” 49Nathanael replied, “Rabbi, you are the Son of God! You are the King of Israel!” 50Jesus answered, “Do you believe because I told you that I saw you under the fig tree? You will see greater things than these.” 51And he said to him, “Very truly, I tell you, you will see heaven opened and the angels of God ascending and descending upon the Son of Man.”
GOSPEL Reflection: Contributed by Carol Streatfield
An extraordinary statement by Nathanael: “Rabbi, you are the Son of God! You are the King of Israel!” And, so early in Jesus’ ministry! Jesus “saw” him under the fig tree, but what a ‘seeing’ this must have been to reverse Nathanael’s opinion from “Can anything good come out of Nazareth?” to “Son of God”. A ‘seeing’ that allowed Jesus to declare him “an Israelite in whom there is no deceit!” It seems to me this could be no ordinary ‘seeing’.
Maybe it was a perception similar to, but of a greater order than, the kind of connection people have with loved ones when they suddenly know something is wrong, or someone is going to phone, or someone close has died. There are many stories, some very complex, that speak to this kind of deeper connection.
Jesus demonstrated so many ways in which he touched people deeply, even after his death: Saul of Tarsus didn’t say, “I had one heck of a headache on the way to Damascus. Knocked me clean off my horse. Blinded me for three days. Now, where are those Christian devils?!” This connection with Christ was life-transforming, as it was for Nathaniel, as it has been since for mystics and ordinary folk. Do we have to be as open to, and in constant, real connection with, Christ as we are with our closest friends and family, to experience these moments?
FINAL PRAYER: Flame in my Heart - St Aidan for Today, David Adam
Lord God of the Universe
Touch my eyes that I may see you
Touch my lips that I may praise you
Touch my heart that I may love you
Touch my mind that I may know you
Touch my life that I may glorify you
And send me to do your will.