Here is today’s Gospel: ‘The next day Jesus decided to go to Galilee. And he found Philip and said to him, “Follow me.” Now Philip was from Bethsaida, the city of Andrew and Peter. Philip found Nathanael, and said to him, “We have found him of whom Moses in the law and also the prophets wrote, Jesus of Nazareth, the son of Joseph.” Nathanael said to him, “Can anything good come out of Nazareth?” Philip said to him, “Come and see.” Jesus saw Nathanael coming to him, and said of him, “Behold, an Israelite indeed, in whom is no guile!” Nathanael said to him, “How do you know me?” Jesus answered him, “Before Philip called you, when you were under the fig tree, I saw you.” Nathanael answered him, “Rabbi, you are the Son of God! You are the King of Israel!” Jesus answered him, “Because I said to you, I saw you under the fig tree, do you believe? You shall see greater things than these.” And he said to him, “Truly, truly, I say to you, you will see heaven opened, and the angels of God ascending and descending upon the Son of man.”’
St John Chrysostom commented: ‘Do you see how He leads him up little by little from the earth, and causes him no longer to imagine Him a man merely? For One to whom Angels minister, and on whom Angels ascend and descend, how could He be man? For this reason He said, You shall see greater things than these. And in proof of this, He introduces the ministry of Angels. And what He means is something of this kind: Does this, O Nathanael, seem to you a great matter, and have you for this confessed me to be King of Israel? What then will you say, when you see the Angels ascending and descending upon Me? Persuading him by these words to own Him Lord also of the Angels. For on Him as on the King’s own Son, the royal ministers ascended and descended, once at the season of the Crucifixion, again at the time of the Resurrection and the Ascension, and before this also, when they came and ministered unto Him, when they proclaimed the glad tidings of His birth, and cried, Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace, when they came to Mary, when they came to Joseph. … What then does Nathanael? To this he makes no reply. And therefore at this point Christ stopped His discourse with him, allowing him to consider in private what had been said; and not choosing to pour forth all at once, having cast seed into fertile ground, He then leaves it to shoot at leisure’.
At this season, we are so conscious of the angels … let us give thanks for them for their care of us, and their presence with us. May they guard and protect us always, and may God bless you this day.