St Bartholomew

Apostle (entered heaven in the first century)

Dear Bertha,

If your first two years of college have been a kind of “training” in how to live out your faith without sinking into the typical collegiate pitfalls (and I must say you have been an inspiringly docile trainee), now begins (if I may be so bold as to say it) your years of “apostolate.”  Now is your chance to “give freely what you have freely received,” as our Lord would put it (Mathew 10:8).  And if you have any memory at all, you will recall how much the underclassmen could use your kind and wise guidance – before they get sucked into what they will later regret.

Why not take today’s saint as your personal patron for your upperclassman years?  He was such an active apostle that historians lost track of him as soon as he set out to spread the good news.  In the Gospels he is referred to both as Nathaniel and as Bartholomew, though he is not referred to often.  After our Lord’s Ascension, he trekked east and preached in northern India and Armenia, where he met his death by being skinned alive and then beheaded (King Astyages wasn’t impressed with his eloquence, I guess).  Thus he died fulfilling Christ’s final command: “Go and make disciples of all nations” (Matthew 28:19), a command that the Church ceaselessly repeats.

As you defend the Kingdom among the “nations” there on campus, ask St Bartholomew to give you a hand – maybe that way you’ll at least be able to keep your skin.


Uncle Eddy

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