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A Friend Like That: Saints Philip and Nathanael

In St. John's Gospel, which retells St. Nathanael (aka Bartholomew)'s first encounter with Jesus, we come to understand the importance of good friends. This heroic apostle who spread the Good News all the way to India and Armenia where he suffered martyrdom by being flayed alive may have never followed Jesus if it wasn't for his friend Philip.

“Philip found Nathanael.” (John 1:45)

Do you know of someone who is feeling a bit lost? Maybe a friend, your child, a relative or coworker? Have you found them lonely, confused, hopeless, or perhaps totally off track? Do you wonder how can you help them?

Follow Philip’s lead. When he found Nathanael, he told him about Jesus. But wait! First, pray. I am sure Philip told Jesus about Nathanael. He probably asked Jesus if he could invite Nathanael along.

You, too, should tell Jesus about your loved ones. Pray, then tell them about Jesus.

Don’t expect them to accept your message automatically or enthusiastically. Like Nathanael, they may think that nothing good can come from Jesus of Nazareth. Be patient and loving, like Philip was. Just smile and invite them to “Come and see.”

Come to Mass and see Jesus offer Himself up for our salvation.

Come to a Bible study and see how faithful and loving God is.

Come to the church picnic and see how friendly God’s people are.

Come to Reconciliation and see how merciful God is.

Come, look around, and see the blessings God has bestowed upon us.

Come to God in prayer and see that He is a Father who know how to give good things to His children (cf. Matthew 7:11).

Philip was a true friend to Nathanael. He knew he had found something immeasurably good in Jesus and he wanted to share that good news with his friend. We are called to do the same.

Who can I share the Gospel with today?

St. Nathanael, you became a friend of Jesus because you had a friend who led you to Him. Ask Jesus to let me be a friend like that. Amen.


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