Seeing with the Heart

John 1: 45-51
Rv 21:9-14/Ps 145:10-13,17-18

Before Philip called you I saw you under the fig tree.
(John 1:48)

Like Nathaniel we sometimes doubt,
We don’t believe until we see...
God touched our hearts we soon found out
Sin kept us bound, Christ set us free.

When Philip became a follower of Jesus, he went to his friend Nathaniel, 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.” When he asked Philip if there was anything good that could come from Nazareth, he told Nathaniel, “Come and see.” When they came to Jesus, Nathaniel was surprised by the Lord’s greeting: “Here is a true Israelite. There is no duplicity in him” (Jn.1:47). Jesus told him that before Philip called him, He had seen him under a fig tree. He was amazed that the Lord had known his thoughts (he was probably praying under the fig tree), and thus exclaimed, “Rabbi, you are the Son of God; you are the King of Israel.” To which Jesus assured him, “You will see greater things than this.”

Reflection

Nathaniel at first showed prejudice against Nazareth, a small poor village known to be a sanctuary of thieves and rebels at that time. But when he met Jesus, the aura of power and wisdom emanating from the Lord overwhelmed him and convinced him of His Messiahship. This was a grace from Jesus Who knew the secrets of his heart.

It is perhaps human nature to be biased or doubtful when someone tells us about his wonderful experience. We just have to see for ourselves before we believe. Face to face with Jesus, Nathaniel came to know the Lord and believed. It was not the same with Jesus. He was nowhere near Nathaniel, but He “saw him under the fig tree.” And even before he came to Him, Jesus already saw the secrets of his heart. “Here is a true Israelite. There is no duplicity in him” (Jn.1:47).

We, who are followers of Christ may not have any visual experience of Jesus, our Savior, but we have “seen” Him as the living Word of God in Scriptures, and receive Him constantly in the Holy Eucharist. God has also revealed Him to us in many events in our life. Many of us first encountered Jesus through the power of His Holy Spirit. We were emotionally uplifted, many of us to tears and speaking in tongues, and even unconsciousness. But that was just for starters. As Jesus promised, “You will see greater things than this.” Once we have learned to persevere in our faith and trust in our Savior, we will also experience the many little miracles that God will manifest in our lives if only to acknowledge our faithfulness and draw us closer to Him. Then we no longer need to see with our eyes and understand with our mind. Because we have accepted with our heart.

Lord, let us see with our hearts what we cannot see with our eyes. Amen.

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