Over the weekend there was yet another example of someone seeing Jesus in something utterly mundane, in this case a discoloration on an iron. Incredulous, a friend of mine wanted to know what I, as a priest, thought of such sightings. He was concerned that it was demeaning for Christ our Lord, God and Savior to reveal Himself through the stain on a household appliance. My response is very nicely summed up by Nathaniel in today’s Gospel, “Can anything good come out of Nazareth?” (John 1:46). The answer, of course, is an emphatic ‘YES!’
Lest we forget, our Lord, God and Savior Jesus Christ chose to reveal Himself to us in extreme humility. In less than a month we will celebrate His Nativity, when He was born in a cave and laid in a feeding trough lined with hay. Nor should forget that crucifixion was a punishment too scandalous for a Roman citizen to be subjected to. In addition, God has consistently chosen to work through people from inglorious and dubious origins. Today we celebrate the Apostle St. Andrew the First Called. He and his brother Peter were fishermen from a backwater called Galilee. Despite these humble origins, bishops around the world under the Patriarchate of Constantinople, all trace their ordinational lineage back to Andrew, a fisherman.
Given all of this, should it be any surprise that Christ should choose to reveal Himself in a stain on an iron?