Monday, August 24, 2015

“Keep your heart clear and transparent, and you will never be bound.”

"Be yourself -- not your idea of what you think somebody else's idea of yourself should be." -- Henry David Thoreau: (1817 – 1862: American author, poet, & philosopher)

Gospel Text: (Jn 1:45-51)
Philip found Nathanael and told him,
“We have found the one about whom Moses wrote in the law,
and also the prophets, Jesus son of Joseph, from Nazareth.”
But Nathanael said to him,
“Can anything good come from Nazareth?”
Philip said to him, “Come and see.”
Jesus saw Nathanael coming toward him and said of him,
“Here is a true child of Israel.
There is no duplicity in him.”
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.”

When Jesus looks at Nathaniel He sees a man who is transparent. A duplicitous or deceitful person presents himself as respectful and caring for another, but deep down is only using others for his own ends.
Many of us have an all too long a history of using people in a nice way.   Often there is lacking a genuine care for the welfare of the other, but with a very real care for our own self.  In today’s Gospel we find a man, Nathaniel, who is transparent. He can be unpleasantly honest. “Can anything good come from Nazareth?” But what you see is what you get!
The term “Transparency” is used a lot today in politics.  However, the claim of transparency is often the ultimate duplicity!    It is a deception by pretending to entertain one set of intentions while acting under the influence of another.  People are a great gift of God to us.  The name of Nathaniel literally means “gift from God”.  The gifts of God must be used but not just appropriated for our personal use.    They should bring us to serve Him, His people and not just ourselves.

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