Today's Gospel from John, ends with this line:
"Then each went to his own house."
Of course, each Gospel was written to have meaning beyond basic, literal words, but I am always reminded of how John uses nearly every word to convey something. When I read that line, in the context of the Gospel itself, I am reminded of how we misdirect ourselves.
Let's step back a moment however and go back to the text of the Gospel verses for today. We come upon a crowd who upon hearing Jesus arrive at different conclusions.
Some in the crowd who heard these words of Jesus said,
“This is truly the Prophet.”
Others said, “This is the Christ.”
But others said, “The Christ will not come from Galilee, will he?"
As we can see, some of the people present thought they heard a prophet, others knew that this was the Christ but others were quick to say that Jesus was not the Christ at all.
And why not?
Christ was apparently not coming from Galilee!
What a trap we fall into when we "each go to our own house," to paraphrase the last line of today's Gospel. When we retreat into our own opinions and go off with them, rather than be in community with understanding that may be difficult to understand, we close off.
One need only open a newspaper, or some so-called Catholic publications, to see who is "in" or "out." Read many Catholic blogs? It is even worse!
We can all find ways to dissect and eviscerate each other in the name of God. It is very easy to use Scripture, documents and teaching to justify the exclusion of others because... well, because "“The Christ will not come from Galilee, will he?"
Judging others is easy, dismissing them is also done with ease because we want to believe that we know who is who... Perhaps not.
Is our invitation today to meet and encounter the Christ in surprising places? What will happen if we follow Jesus and go places that are not clear? How can we find Jesus if we just go "back to our own house?"
Will we encounter Jesus the Christ? Where will you meet him today?