And today’s Gospel reading presents Nathaniel asking the perfectly timed question for our time when he learns that the Messiah is from Nazareth:
Philip found Nathanael and told him, “We have found the one about whom Moses wrote in the law, and also the prophets, Jesus, son of Joseph, from Nazareth.”
But Nathanael said to him, “Can anything good come from a shithole country like Nazareth?”
An encounter with Jesus shatters his prejudice and convicts Nathaniel to praise someone whom he had just demeaned and rejected in his heart because of where he came from, calling him “Son of God” and “King of kings.”
That is why we allow people to come to us from “shithole” countries! Because Jesus Himself was looked down upon, diminished and demeaned by others because of where He came from. Because encountering them shatters our prejudice and bigotries. Because even people from “shithole” countries can become great people — proving that there are no shithole countries, just shithole people who look down on others because of where they come from.
Yes, something good can come out of a shithole place like Nazareth. Something good can come out of Haiti. Something good can come out of Nigeria, Kenya, Sudan, or any other African country.
I would expect a President who claims to be Christian to know that, just as I would expect his supporters who also claim to be Christian, and who make such a big deal out of being Christian, to know that as well.
I certainly expect you, my brothers and sisters, to know that.