When Jesus saw Nathanael coming toward him, he said of him, “Here is truly an Israelite in whom there is no deceit!” Nathanael asked him, “Where did you get to know me?” Jesus answered, “I saw you under the fig tree before Philip called you.” Nathanael replied, “Rabbi, you are the Son of God! You are the King of Israel!” Jesus answered, “Do you believe because I told you that I saw you under the fig tree? You will see greater things than these.” And he said to him, “Very truly, I tell you, you will see heaven opened and the angels of God ascending and descending upon the Son of Man.” John 1:47-51
Today is the feast day of Michael and All Angels or Michaelmas. " St Michael is one of the principal angelic warriors, protector against the dark of the night and the Archangel who fought against Satan and his evil angels. As Michaelmas is the time that the darker nights and colder days begin - the edge into winter - the celebration of Michaelmas is associated with encouraging protection during these dark months. It was believed that negative forces were stronger in darkness and so families would require stronger defenses during the later months of the year. Traditionally, in the British Isles a well fattened goose, fed on the stubble from the fields after the harvest, is eaten to protect against financial need in the family for the next year; and as the saying goes: “Eat a goose on Michaelmas Day, want not for money all the year”. (Historic UK) This time of year, as the light diminishes we often find ourselves wanting for protection and safety.
Jesus is at the beginning of his ministry and dealing with some folks who are very skeptical about him. Nathanael identified him as the son of God after Jesus surprisingly understands who Nathanael truly is. Being understood at our core invites us to let love in completely. Our defenses, built up after many hardships and challenges, often shut out love. Nathanael is thrilled and probably shocked by being known and loved completely. God invites us to let down our defenses, knowing we are defended by a heaven full of angels.
Today I ask God to help me be open to love and understanding. May we live honestly like Nathanael, and open our hearts to the living God and the people around us.