Saint Bartholomew was one of Jesus’ apostles, but it’s hard to get a handle on him. That’s because he is often identified as Nathanael in the Gospel. So today’s Gospel reading gives us a little insight about Saint Bartholomew, or Nathanael, take your pick!
Nathanel is picked out of the crowd by Jesus and he is surprised at what Jesus says about him: “Here is a true child of Israel. There is no duplicity in him.” We should recall that Jesus considered it his primary mission to seek out the lost children of Israel, so seeing Nathanael as a “true child of Israel” with “no duplicity in him” means that Jesus considered Nathanael a role model for his people. He was one whose faith reached beyond mere observance of the Law or the Torah, and extended into the realm of living the Gospel.
In honor of the one in whom as no duplicity, we are called to rout out any traces of duplicity in our own lives. We are called to go beyond mere observance of the rules of our faith and really live the Gospel authentically. For followers of Jesus, there was and still is nothing more important than living the Gospel, and every one of us is called to do it. If our spiritual life is not our primary concern, then we have nothing to look forward to. But the good news is that, by the intercession and example and preaching of the Apostles and especially Saint Bartholomew today, we can get rid of our duplicity and embrace the Gospel with authenticity.