Warm Southern Breeze

"… there is no such thing as nothing."

A Nearly Anonymous Apostle

Posted by Warm Southern Breeze on Thursday, August 24, 2017

Poor Bartholomew, the mystery apostle. Matthew, Mark, Luke, and the Acts of the Apostles call him Bartholomew, but in John he might be the person named Nathaniel. An interesting lesson for those who think the Bible is clear about everything — even the names of the 12 apostles!

Martyrdom of St. Bartholomew, (1355-1360) Prato, Museo di Palazzo; Tradition holds that the apostle Bartholomew was martyred by being flayed alive. That brutal torture has been depicted in a variety of ways over the centuries. He is sometimes depicted holding a knife, which symbolizes his martyrdom. The artworks seem to evolve over time from showing him just before the blade strikes, to when flaying occurs and then in later works after the act, where he is draped in, or holding his own skin. Viewing those artworks reflecting the act of being skinned alive without squirming can be difficult considering the pain and blood. That is especially so in the early religious paintings of the saint.

But aren’t most of us nearly anonymous disciples ourselves? We don’t get mentioned in the church bulletin all the time, and not everyone knows who we are or remembers our name at the parish fair. But we are faithful followers of Jesus nonetheless, and we find our reward not in recognition and praise, but in knowing we are quiet helpers of the one who saves the world.

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