This is a blog that I post to several times a week although not necessarily daily. These reflections are triggered by the scripture found in the lectionary used by many Christian denominations. While I am part of the Catholic tradition, these posts are not --or rarely--sectarian. I try to put myself in the space of a of Jesus Christ and listen to words that come to me as I read and pray the scriptures. Each post also includes a photograph. These rarely have any connection to the content of the post but are simply pleasing images that I capture as I make my pilgrimage through life.

Saturday, March 16, 2013

Ideology can get in the way of faith

They answered and said to him,
"You are not from Galilee also, are you?
Look and see that no prophet arises from Galilee.” John 8:52

When Nicodemus reminded his fellow Pharisees that it was not just to condemn Jesus without giving him a hearing, they reminded him that the traditon taught that the Messiah could not come from Galilee because he would come from David's line and from Bethlehem, David's city.  Jesus came from nazareth and thus could not be the Messiah.

It seems historically certain that Jesus came from Nazareth in the Northern Kingdom of Galilee.  Christian scipture and tradition also has him having been born in Bethlehem and of the line of David.  Whethr that is historically certain is not as clear in my own mind.  Since the gospel traditions were formed after the Resurrection, it would not be surprising if the communities redacted Jesus' history to include a birth narrative and genealogy that would make clear that Jesus was the Messiah described in the Hebrew scriptures.

The point of this story, however, is the way in which the preconceptions about where one would find the Divine One led those Pharisees to ignore and even attack the incarantion of the very Divine One whom they worshipped and promoted.

How often have I failed to see the presence of the Divine in my life because I had an ideologically based preconception about where and how the Divine One would manifest?  An open mind and an open heart. Is all that Jesus asks of me to allow his grace to ffully flower in my acceptance of his life and love.

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