Can Anything Good Come Out of Nazareth?
The Feast of St Bartholomew is celebrated today. In the gospel, he will be called Nathaniel. There is a lot of speculation about how Jesus knew he was under the fig tree. A lot of speculation why that is important at all. I think what is most important is the dialogue that takes place.
Philip is excited to have met Jesus. He runs to his friend to share the good news. Nathaniel is not so impressed when he finds out Jesus comes from Nazareth. We tend to identify ourselves where we are from. If you have ever moved, you know that you are not from the location you moved to for at least the first 20 years. Then you are a newcomer.
Can anything good come out of Nazareth? It is a derogatory remark. In a day, do hear such remarks, have you made such remarks? Probably. Politics is prevalent today. Can anything good come out of the Republican/Democratic party? (You take your pick.) Or – I just cannot understand these priests from India! Why don’t they give them English classes? Or – I can agree with the church for the most part. Do you know, there is a pickup truck in Spooner that has a sign in the back window that says: Wisconsin Full – Go Home.
In this story, Jesus does not address the slight that Nathaniel did, but addresses him as a human being. A good example for all of us, wouldn’t you agree? We do not have to address the sin, but we should always address the person.
And take a second look at Philip. Would it not be better for all of us to be as excited as Philip to introduce Jesus to others?
May the Lord bless you in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit. Amen