Cardinal's Network Archive
Monday, August 24, 2009
August 24 is the Feast of St. Bartholomew, one of the Twelve called by Jesus to serve as the official witnesses to his resurrection, to preach the Gospel to the world and to found local Churches. My Church as a Cardinal, a member of the clergy of the diocese of Rome, is named after St. Bartholomew and contains his relics.
The actual church building, located on the island in the Tiber River that has served as a place of physical healing for many centuries, was built a thousand years ago. Celebrating Mass there now puts us in contact with all those who have worshiped in the church for the past thousand years and with a saint who lived a thousand years earlier.
Why has St. Bartholomew (or Nathaniel) remained a figure for the world’s notice for two thousand years? Simply, because he was chosen by Christ. Jesus saw in him an honest man, whose life was marked by his religious devotion (see John 1:45-51); but there were many such men in Jesus’ time. What is distinctive about Bartholomew is that he was chosen to be one of the Twelve.
Why does Jesus choose any of us? Love has its reasons, and that is enough.
Francis Cardinal George, OMI