Feast of Saint Bartholomew, Apostle

Tuesday, August 24, 2021

Today, in God’s Lavish Mercy, we pray with Psalm 145, a luxuriant song of praise to a God who overwhelms us with generosity.

I will extol you, my God and king;
I will bless your name forever and ever.

Every day I will bless you;
I will praise your name forever and ever.

Great is the LORD and worthy of much praise,
whose grandeur is beyond understanding.

Psalm 145: 1-3

Citing verses 13-20 which are structured around the word “all”, Walter Brueggemann says:

The image is an overflow of limitless blessing
given without reservation
to all who are in need
and turn to the Creator.

Which brings us to Nathaniel and how this prayer might have sung in his heart.


I got to be friends with Nathaniel over 50 years ago when, at my reception in our community, Mother Bernard decided to give me his name. And after an initial shock, I came to love it.

Nathaniel and I have spent countless hours under his fig tree sharing both our lives. I’ve asked him many times what he was thinking about when Philip came to invite him to meet Jesus. Nathaniel always has a different answer… one amazingly similar to whatever happens to be preoccupying me at the time.😇

a favorite old book that started some of my conversations with Nathaniel

One element remains constant in every circumstance: in his quiet moment, Nathaniel sought God’s Light. As our Gospel shows, that Luminous Word came to him and he responded.


I think that in our “fig tree moments”, we have finally sifted through all that we are capable of in order to find Grace in our lives. Now we wait, in the shade and quiet of prayer, for the True Answer.

When that answering Word comes, it shatters our doubts and pretenses like an egg. And like a shattered egg, the Word releases new life in us. We move deeper into the unbreakable Wholeness and Infinity. Like Nathaniel, even in our ordinary lives, we begin to “see greater things” than we had ever imagined.


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 heaven opened and the angels of God
ascending and descending on the Son of Man.”


After that momentous afternoon when he was drawn from the shade into the Light, Nathaniel’s life became a hymn of praise and thanksgiving.

Let all your works give you thanks, O LORD,
    and let your faithful ones bless you.
Let them discourse of the glory of your Kingdom
    and speak of your might.


Poem-Prayer from Christine Robinson

Psalm 145 – Opening Heart

I exalt you, Holy One, and open my heart to you
by remembering your great love.
Your expansiveness made this beautiful world
in a universe too marvelous to understand.
Your desire created life, and you nurtured
that life with your spirit.
You cherish us all—and your prayer
in us is for our own flourishing.
You are gracious to us
slow to anger and full of kindness
You touch us with your love—speak to us
with your still, small voice, hold us when we fall.
You lift up those who are oppressed
by systems and circumstances.
You open your hand
and satisfy us.
You ask us to call on you—
and even when you seem far away, our
longings call us back to you.
Hear my cry, O God, for some days, it is all I have.

Music: I Will Praise Your Name – Bob Fitts

Lord I will praise your name

I will praise your name

I will praise your name and extol You

I will praise Your name (I will praise Your name)

I will praise Your name

I will praise Your name

As I behold You

I will magnify, I will glorify

I will lift on high Your name, Lord Jesus

I will magnify, I will glorify

I will lift on high Your name, Lord Jesus

For Your love is never ending

And Your mercy ever true

I will bless Your name Lord Jesus

For my heart belongs to You

I will praise Your name

I will praise Your name

I will praise Your name and extol you

I will magnify, I will glorify

I will lift on high Your name, Lord Jesus

For Your love is never ending

And Your mercy ever true

I will bless Your name Lord Jesus

For my heart belongs to You

I will praise Your name

I will praise Your name

I will praise Your name and extol you

I will magnify, I will glorify

I will lift on high Your name, Lord Jesus

2 thoughts on “Feast of Saint Bartholomew, Apostle

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s