A prophet is not honored in his home town.
Luke 4: 24
Jesus when he returns to Nazareth and reads Isaiah is first admired and then almost killed.
He dares to say that God’s mercy is not limited to one nation, but God worked wonders with foreigners, as Elijah did with the widow of of Sidon and Elisha did with the Syrian official.
How often do we want to restrict the saving power of God to our own group, making God an instrument of our in-crowd.
I think much of the commentary on the papal conclave is ruled by this type of in-crowd thinking.
I am not beyond that either, hoping that there is a pope who hears the cry of the poor and acts on it. That’s why I proposed moving the voting out of the Sistine Chapel. See my entry here on my Hermano Juancito blog.
Occasionally, though, one comes upon an interesting analysis that helps put things in perspective. If you have time read E.J. Dionne’s entry on Commonweal’s website. Click here.
As I read Dionne’s article where he reflects on the Dominican Timothy Radcliffe’s discussion of Kingdom and Communion Catholics, I thought of Dorothy Day who I think bridges that gap, with one foot in the church that prizes her tradition and is critical of the “world” and the other in the church that seeks to be good news to the poor.
I don’t see any Dorothy Day types among the cardinals (though the Filipino and the Boston cardinals appear to be the closest), but maybe the Spirit will call the cardinals to look beyond their in-crowd and choose a non-cardinal for Pope.
In all this, we need to pray hard that the Spirit will open up the windows of the Sistine Chapel so that a New Pentecost may renew the Church.