Monday, March 15, 2010

Hummingbird Cam!
Just a little something charming to uplift you.
Today's Gospel gave me a lift, too. I have to confess, I played with it a little. It's from John, and (as one of my theology teachers used to say), "Well, you know John!" We hear a very similar story from the other three evangelists: a man from the social elite comes to Jesus seeking the miraculous cure of someone at death's door. Trusting in Jesus' words that the sick one will get better, the petitioner leaves and en route, gets news of the amazing recovery.
The synoptics tell us of a Centurion and his servant (or slave), highlighting the sense that the Good News is meant for the Gentiles. But John puts it in a different light. Here, it is a "royal official" who is pleading for his son's life.
Note that this happens "in Cana of Galilee." In case we don't get the connection, John reminds us that this is "where Jesus had made water into wine." At a wedding. Now he's back, and there's a child. Not that there's any sense that it's the same family, of course, but love, marriage and baby carriages went together in the 1st century mind, and John is all about marriage.
What I noticed was that it was a "royal official" whose son was cured. A royal official in Galilee, whose "whole household" came to believe. This is where I played with the text in a way that would furrow the brow of a Scripture scholar.
I moved into Luke's Gospel. Chapter 8 mentions the women who followed Jesus and who basically financed his ministry. Among them was a woman named Joanna, who later shows up among the "myrrh-bearing women" on Easter morning. Joanna is identified as "the wife of Herod's steward, Chuza."
That would be Herod, Tetrarch of Galilee.
King Herod.
Which would make Chuza a "royal steward" from Galilee.
Isn't it delightful to imagine that it was his son whom Jesus cured at a distance, inspiring the boy's mother with a grateful faith that brought her all the way to the Cross and beyond?
I like to think so.

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