Tonight while at Prayer Study Fr.Peter talked about what Jesus looked like.
If your from my neck of the woods you probably have pictures of Jesus with Caucasian type features and blondish brown hair with blue eyes.
Well I guess this idea is alright,since we try to conform Jesus to our looks, but this vision of him is very wrong.
Jesus was a Jewish man who probably had brown eyes,tan skin and black curly hair and was short in stature compared to today standards.
How we perceive Jesus depends on our upbringing and personal features.
I came from a white family in an all white neighborhood so to me this light haired,blue eyed man fit into my understanding of the world around me.
The other morning while driving to work I stopped at a stop sign.
Directly in front of me was a man,his back turned toward me,who looked rather dirty and unkept.
Not being accustomed to having transients in our town I began to wondered if he were a bum or some one just waiting for a ride.
At that point he turned and faced me and our eyes locked.
He had an old jacket on with no shirt underneath,dirty pants and looked unbathed with greasy hair.
Most times in my life when met by such a sight,I would turn my gaze away and continue driving trying to ignore him,but this time was different.For some reason a thought came to my mind "Did Jesus look like this man?"
Was he dirty and unshaven? Were his clothes in need of a washing? was his hair greasy and uncombed?
I recalled reading,several times in the bible,when the Pharisees questioned Jesus about why he and his apostles did not always follow the codes of purification and cleanliness.
Could it be Jesus put himself in such a position just so he would be rebuked and disqualified by the priest and higher ups of the temples?
What did it take to be a person in those days who chose to even listen to this man?
Were they at first repelled by his looks and smell but later attracted by his personality?
Simple yet compelling.
I must admit that the thirty seconds that this man and I gazed at each other, gave me some points to ponder,which had slipped my mind until tonight's class.
I think the more you get into real prayer and study the more you begin to understand that has your heart softens so to do your views.
When you least expect it something happens to make you ponder what your preconceived notions were and what they have become.
Growth takes time to slowly be revealed in sutle ways.
God whispers to us and like a parable it is revealed when the time is right and we are ready to understand.