Today’s Gospel: John 1:45-51 – St. Bartholomew,
“Can anything good come from Nazareth?” This a very judgmental statement made by Nathanael in today’s gospel reading, as he speaks to Philip about meeting Jesus for the first time. Nathanael is skeptical because of where is Jesus is from. Judgement based not on His message but simply on His hometown is just one of the obstacles Jesus faced.
Upon reflection, I am confronted with my own prejudices. I live in a nice neighborhood in a Midwest town. I can leave my door unlocked at night if I choose. My neighbors are nice, family-focused people. My husband and I selected this area based on these shared values. But, like most communities, we also have an area that is considered “the other side of the tracks”. Homes are not always maintained, and the crime rate is higher. I’ll be honest, I don’t want to live there, and I am guilty of forming opinions about people from that area based on their zip code rather than first giving them the same chance I would if they were from “my neck of the woods”.
This is what Jesus faced at every turn; opposition to His message based on preconceived judgements made about His hometown and heritage. I can only speculate how many souls may have been lost because of condemnatory attitudes and discrimination rather than considering Jesus’s life of service and death for our sins.
If I had met Jesus during His time here would I have been receptive to His message? Or would I have dismissed Jesus as so many did, because He was a carpenter’s son from Nazareth?
Heavenly Father, I pray that I would have accepted Philip’s invitation to “come and see”. Grant that I remain open to all whom You send bearing Your image on their hearts, without prejudice.
Copyright 2017 Amy Morris
I am a member of a Dominican Catholic parish in Ohio. I am married and blessed to be the mother of two girls, one biological and one through marriage. I am a speech pathologist, volunteer and struggling athlete. I can be found at @ahmslp on twitter.
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