Sunday Reflection

Saint Bartholomew the Apostle 24 August Holy Day

Bartholomew is known to us only because his name is listed among the twelve apostles in the Gospels according to Matthew, Mark, and Luke. His name means “son of Tolmai,” and he is sometimes identified with Nathanael, a disciple who appears at the beginning of the Fourth Gospel. According to John, Nathanael learned about Jesus of Nazareth from his friend Philip and gave the skeptical response, “Can anything good come from Nazareth?” Nevertheless, he went along with his friend, and when Jesus saw him he said, “Here is an Israelite worthy of the name; there is nothing false in him.”

Some sources credit Bartholomew with having written a Gospel; its existence was known to various Christian theologians up to the eighth century, but it has been long since lost. There is a tradition that he travelled to India, where it was later said that he left behind a copy of the Gospel according to Matthew in Hebrew. Another ancient tradition says that Bartholomew was flayed alive at Albano’polis in Armenia while seeking to bring the good news of Christ to that nation. While there, they are reputed to have converted Polymius, the king of Armenia, to Christianity, thus enraging the king’s brother, who ordered Bartholomew’s execution.

Collect for Saint Bartholomew:   Almighty and everlasting God, who gave to your apostle Bartholomew grace to believe and preach your word, may your Church truly love what he believed and faithfully preach what he taught; through Jesus Christ our Lord, who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, now and forever. Amen.
(For All the Saints, The Anglican Church of Canada) 

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