Editor’s Note: The following is part of Millennial Lenten Reflections, a blog series in collaboration with Catholics in Alliance for the Common Good. Short reflections on the day’s readings, written by young adults from FMS and other organizations, will be posted everyday throughout Lent.
In today’s Gospel, Nicodemus questions the Pharisees by asking, “Does our law condemn a man before it first hears him and finds out what he is doing?” The Pharisees are quick to judge and condemn Jesus and his teachings because he is from Galilee.
For native St. Louisan’s, it’s a well-known fact that we always ask where someone went to high school. This question can let a person know almost immediately the other individual’s background, socio-economic status and other often ill-conceived notions about that person. Often times it is in human nature to jump to these conclusions.
In the past I always thought this was a harmless question. But in reality it only perpetuates the “us vs. them” mindset that was around even during Jesus’ time. If we continue this mindset and if we let the judgments of others based on their background or where they come from cloud our decisions then our world will only continue to be plagued with war and violence.
Conflict between others, whether it is a friend, family, a rival school, or even a bordering nation, can end if we are willing to set aside our fears and listen.
Jes Stevens is a Loretto Volunteer who lives in Washington, D.C. and works for CACG. He graduated from Fontbonne University in 2014 with a degree in sociology and psychology.