Voices ever ancient, ever new. Feast of Saint Bartholomew 2013

“But Nathanael said to him, “Can anything good come from Nazareth?” Philip said to him, “Come and see.”” (John 1:46)

In commenting on John 1:46 from today’s Mass Readings, Theodore of Mopsuesteia writes:

“This is not exactly the way this sentence appears, but rather it should be understood in a different and more doubtful sense, as in “How is it possible that anything good comes out of Nazareth?” In fact, among the Jews the name of that village was much despised, because a great number of its inhabitants were pagans, and it seemed impossible that anything good might come out from there. Therefore also the Pharisees said to Nicodemus, “Search and you will see that no prophet is to arise from Galilee.” And so it is only right that Philip says to Nathanael, “Come and see.” Since there is now a contrast to that old opinion, [he seems to be saying], I promise to show you the real facts. This was superfluous, otherwise, for someone who had once believed in the truth.” (Commentary on John, 1)

Today is the Feast of Saint Bartholomew. In his Wednesday audience on 4 October 2006, Pope Benedict XVI offered this reflection on Saint Bartholomew.