COMING FROM EAST and WEST
(Sunday, July 2)
In this Sunday’s Gospel-reading, which is about Jesus healing the servant of a “centurion” (a Roman commander of one hundred soldiers) at Capernaum, we hear our Lord mention both “east” and “west” in positive terms. He said this as He “marveled” at the faith of a Gentile, the Roman centurion: “Assuredly, I say to you, I have not found such great faith, not even in Israel! And I say to you that many will come from east and west, and sit down with Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob in the kingdom of heaven. But the sons of the kingdom will be cast out into the outer darkness…” (Mt 8:10-12)
This is probably a trivial sort of comment, but I wonder, as I read these words, why we Orthodox Christians seem to prefer to identify ourselves as specifically Eastern Orthodox, – even when, or particularly when we were born and raised in “the West.” It’s as if we think being called “Eastern” is somehow better than being “Western.” But our Lord says that “many will come from east and west, and sit down with Abraham…,” – so why don’t we just go ahead and own our “Western Orthodox” selves, and identify as such? Forgive me for this not very helpful, just SMH-commentary today, my beloved readers, and Happy 4th of July weekend to those of you in the USA!