Saturday, January 5, 2013

Under the Fig Tree

How do you know me?’ said Nathanael ‘Before Philip came to call you,’ said Jesus ‘I saw you under the fig tree.’ Nathanael answered, ‘Rabbi, you are the Son of God, you are the King of Israel.’

Jesus is starting His public ministry and forming the core of His disciples.  These disciples come from family or friendship relationships.  Philip calls Nathanael to come and see Jesus.  Initially scornful of the idea of a messiah from Nazareth, Nathanael encounters Jesus and is instantly convinced He is the Son of God.

I have often puzzled over how Nathanael was so convinced about Jesus' divinity simply by Jesus saying He saw him under the fig tree.  I recently heard a teaching that has helped explain this.  Nathanael was a Zealot. Being opposite to  Pharisees,  Zealots would go into the wilderness to pray where no one would see them except God.  Nathanael knew no one would know he had been under the fig tree praying except God.  He recognised God in Jesus.

My "Fig Tree" time is early in the morning.  This time helps me recognise Jesus when I met Him in the sacraments, in Holy Scripture, in family prayer, even in other random people I meet in my day.  Maybe even someone from Nazareth...

Lord Jesus, thank you for meeting me under my olive tree.  Help me see you in the people I meet today.
Little Flower, please pray for me.

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