+Fr. Peter Andronache, St. John the Baptist - Cedar Rapids, IA | April 22, 2020
Today’s Gospel reading is one of my favorite passages. In it, Jesus pays Nathanael a great compliment: “Behold, an Israelite indeed, in whom is no guile!" Since Christ speaks of Himself as “the Way, the Truth, and the Life,” His words to Nathanael take on added meaning. In a very important way, Nathanael has within himself the likeness of God. I believe that this quality, this honesty and dedication to the truth is what enables him to then offer the confession: "Rabbi, you are the Son of God! You are the King of Israel!"
Others were confronted by greater miracles than what Nathanael had encountered and came to different conclusions: that Christ cast out demons by the prince of demons, that He had a demon Himself, that He tried to lead the multitudes astray. As was true then, so it is now: if we are not looking for the truth, then, even if the Truth stands right in front of us, we will not see it. Honesty, especially with ourselves, can be a very difficult thing, but it is what allowed Nathanael, when confronted with Christ, not to think “He is a deceiver,” or “He is trying to flatter me.” Indeed, he does not take Christ’s words as a compliment, nor does he focus on them at all. There is no boasting and no false humility in Nathanael. And thus, Christ’s words convince him of the truth of Philip’s words: “We have found him of whom Moses in the law and also the prophets wrote, Jesus of Nazareth, the son of Joseph."
Today’s epistle reminds us that the testimony of the apostles is the truth of what they witnessed. These testimonies embolden us to continue to greet each other with the good news of the Resurrection. As we proclaim it outwardly, it is my prayer that each one of us draw near to Christ with no guile, so that He may reveal Himself to us as He did to Nathanael. Accepting that revelation, may we have his peace and joy dwelling in our hearts.