After this Jesus went about in Galilee. He did not wish to go about in Judea because the Jews were looking for an opportunity to kill him. Now the Jewish festival of Booths was near. But after his brothers had gone to the festival, then he also went, not publicly but as it were in secret. Now some of the people of Jerusalem were saying, “Is not this the man whom they are trying to kill? And here he is, speaking openly, but they say nothing to him! Can it be that the authorities really know that this is the Messiah? Yet we know where this man is from; but when the Messiah comes, no one will know where he is from.”
Then Jesus cried out as he was teaching in the temple, “You know me, and you know where I am from. I have not come on my own. But the one who sent me is true, and you do not know him. I know him, because I am from him, and he sent me.” Then they tried to arrest him, but no one laid hands on him, because his hour had not yet come.
New Revised Standard Version, copyright 1989, by the National Council of the Churches of Christ in the United States of America. Used by permission. All rights reserved. USCCB approved.
Answering the question “where are you from?” is not always a simple task. My husband, who was born in Maryland and moved before he turned one to northeast Ohio, says he’s from Maryland. I was born in Texas, and lived there until I was five – but I answer the question “Indianapolis,” which is where I was raised. There is something about place, roots, history, and identity at play in our responses to this question. Who do we say that we are? Where do we say we are from? Who do we say we are from?
Jesus and some of his brothers and sisters from Jerusalem engage with these same questions today. You know me and also know where I am from, Jesus tells them. They share a place and an identity. And yet, Jesus points us to our true home. I am from God, he says. His words remind me that so, too, are each of us.
—Catherine Ruffing Drotleff serves as the Director of Development for the Ignatian Spirituality Project.
You are all we have;
you give us what we need;
Our lives are in your hands, O Lord,
Our lives are in your hands.