instruere...inlustrare...delectare Disputations

Monday, July 06, 2009

Domestic gods

In isolation, the first verse of yesterday's Gospel reading could sound encouraging:
Jesus departed from there and came to his native place, accompanied by his disciples.
We might think of Jesus' native place as heaven, where we disciples will spend eternity with Him.

Alas, "the Greek word patris here refers to Nazareth," and the passage concludes with the disheartening
He was amazed at their lack of faith.
Worse, what if Jesus' patris today could be said (metaphorically) to be the Church?

Certainly, many of us have known Jesus since we were babies. Not as a carpenter, like the Nazarenes of old, but as the Son of God and Savior of the world. He's on the cross, He's in the tabernacle, He's sitting at the right hand of the Father in glory. He is remote in His transcendence, and if we do draw near Him in any but a casual way it's almost always within the safe confines of a church.

So what would happen if He showed up in our lives, looking and acting differently than we're used to? Like, that is to say, a living Person right here in our midst, not content to wait patiently at the altar but stepping out into the world? Would He be amazed at us, too?