Monday - Ordinary Time
1) Opening prayer
your almighty power
mercy and forgiveness.
to fill us with your gifts of love.
to hurry towards the eternal life your promise
to share in the joys of your kingdom.
this through our Lord Jesus Christ, your Son,
and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit,
for ever and ever. Amen.
Gospel Reading - John 1,47-51
Jesus saw Nathanael coming he said of him, ‘There, truly, is an Israelite in
whom there is no deception.’
asked, ‘How do you know me?’ Jesus replied, ‘Before Philip came to call you, I
saw you under the fig tree.’
answered, ‘Rabbi, you are the Son of God, you are the king of Israel.’
replied, ‘You believe that just because I said: I saw you under the fig tree.
You are going to see greater things than that.’ And then he added, ‘In all
truth I tell you, you will see heaven open and the angels of God ascending and
descending over the Son of man.’
Gospel presents the dialogue between Jesus and Nathanael in which the following
phrase appears: “In all truth I tell you, you will see heaven open and the
angels of God ascending and descending over the Son of man“. This phrase
helps to clarify something concerning the archangels.
• John 1,
47-49: The conversation between Jesus and Nathanael. Philip took
Nathanael to Jesus (Jn 1, 45-46). Nathanael had exclaimed: “Can anything
good come from Nazareth?” Nathanael was from Cana, which was close to
Nazareth. Seeing Nathanael, Jesus said: “There, truly is an Israelite in
whom there is no deception!” And he affirms that he knew him already when
he was under the fig tree. How could Nathanael be an “authentic Israelite”, if
he did not accept Jesus as Messiah? Nathanael “was under the fig tree”. The fig
tree was the symbol of Israel (cf. Mq 4, 4; Zc 3, 10; 1K 5,5). “To be under the
fig tree” was the same as being faithful to the project of the God of Israel.
The authentic Israelite is the one who knows how to detach himself from his own
ideas when he perceives that these are not in agreement with God’s project. The
Israelite who is not ready to converse is neither authentic nor honest.
Nathanael is authentic. He expected the Messiah according to the official
teaching of that time, according to which the Messiah came from Bethlehem in
Judea. The Messiah could not come from Nazareth in Galilee (Jn 7, 41-42.52). This
is why Nathanael resists himself to accept Jesus as Messiah. But the encounter
with Jesus helps him to become aware that God’s project is not always as
persons imagine it or desire that it be Nathanael recognizes his own deception,
he changes idea, accepts Jesus as Messiah and confesses: “Rabbi, you are the
Son of God; you are the King of Israel!”
diversity of the call. The Gospels of Mark, Matthew and Luke present the
call of the first disciples in quite a brief way: Jesus walks along the seashore,
and he calls Peter and Andrew. Then he calls John and James (Mk 1, 16-20). The
Gospel of John has a different way of describing the beginning of the first
community which was formed around Jesus. John does it by narrating very
concrete stories. One is struck by the variety of the calls and of the
encounters of persons among themselves and with Jesus. Thus John teaches what
is necessary to do to begin a community. It is by means of contacts and
personal invitations, and it is like that even today! Jesus calls some directly
(Jn 1, 43). Others indirectly (Jn 1, 41-42). One day he called two disciples of
John the Baptist (Jn 1, 39). The following day he called Philip who, in turn,
called Nathanael (Jn 1, 45). No call is repeated because every person is diverse.
People will never forget the important calls which have marked their life. One
even remembers the hour and the day (Jn 1, 39).
• John 1,
50-51: The angels of God who descend and ascend on the Son of Man. The
confession of Nathanael is only at the beginning. Anyone who is faithful, will
se heaven open and the angels who go up and descend on the Son of Man. They
will experience that Jesus is the new bond of union between God and us, human
beings. It is the realization of the dream of Jacob (Gn 28, 10-22).
angels who go up and descend the ladder. The three Archangels: Gabriel,
Raphael, and Michael. Gabriel explained to Prophet Daniel the meaning of
the vision (Dn 8, 16; 9, 21). The angel Gabriel also took God’s message to
Elizabeth (Lk 1, 19) and to Mary, the Mother of Jesus (Lk 1, 26). His name
means “God is strong”. Raphael appears in the Book of Tobit. He accompanies
Tobias, the son of Tobit and of Anna, throughout the trip and protects him from
all danger. He helps Tobias to liberate Sara from the evil spirit and to cure
Tobit, his father, from his blindness. His name means “God heals”. Michael
helped the Prophet Daniel in his struggles and difficulties (Dn 10, 13.21; 12,
1). The letter of Jude says that Michael disputed with the devil over the body
of Moses (Jude 1, 9). It was Michael who obtained victory over Satan, throwing
him out of Heaven and throwing him into hell (RV 12, 7). His name means: “Who
is like God!” The word ‘angel’ means messenger. He takes a message from God. In
the Bible, the entire nature could be the messenger of God himself, when it
turns its face on us and reveals God’s love for us (Ps 104, 4). The angel can
be God himself, when he turns his face on us and reveals his loving presence to
• Have you
already had some encounter which has marked your whole life? How have you
discovered there the call of God?
you been interested, some times, like Philip, to call another person to
participate in the community?
you, Yahweh, with all my heart,
have listened to the cry I uttered.
presence of angels I sing to you,
I bow down before your holy Temple. (Ps 138,1-2)