Saturday, March 16, 2013

Blinded by prejudice

Today's gospel ends with:
Look and see that no prophet arises from Galilee.
Then each went to his own house.

What would any of us give to be able to see God, the way the people around Jesus had the chance to see God, incarnate. The opportunity to not only see him but touch him and converse with him. And yet, how few realized what they had at the time. So convinced they were that they could box God in. No prophet could possibly come from Galilee. Or so they thought.

This week we saw the election of our first Latino Pope, our first American Pope, and our first non-European Pope in over a millennium. I will admit that I fully expected them to fall back on an Italian. I was wrong. And the Holy Spirit once again reminded me that beyond the fragile humans who work for her, the head of the Church remains Christ, and the Holy Spirit moves as it will.

Prejudice is like culture or accent. No one stands outside of their culture, no one speaks their language without an accent, and no one is without prejudice. We are hard wired to make those instantaneous judgements. The real question is can we move beyond them. Most of the people around Jesus could not, and so they missed out. The Cardinals could and took an heroic leap into a new world papacy.

In these last 12 days of Lent, can you and I? Can we, in every situation, practice looking beyond our first impressions, our snap judgements, our prejudices. If we van, perhaps too we will see the face of God in unexpected places.