Do you ever eavesdrop? Sometimes I can’t help it. Coming out of church this past Sunday there was a woman walking behind us on the sidewalk. I couldn’t help but hear her excited conversation. Not steps away from the door of the church she had whipped out her cell phone and was in conversation with a friend.
“The readings were marvelous,” she said, “they are my favorite – the one about Jesus saying he is the vine and we are the branches.” That particular gospel passage never being one of my top 10, I continued to listen. “There is so much love in it. It is so beautiful. I’m so glad I came.”
She crossed the street and we found our car and we each went our separate ways. But I’ve continued to think about her excited phone call. In the homily that morning the priest had told the old story about the third grade teacher who asked her class “What is the difference between God and Jesus?” One brave little girl answered: “Jesus is God with skin on.” Then he made reference to the fact that we are all connected to Jesus in some way. He continued this thought by making reference to the concept of six degrees of separation. It is a theory that says that anyone in the world is only separated from anyone else by at most six people.
That being said, each of us are connected to the vine that is Jesus – maybe with fewer than six people between us – and each of us, too, must participate in the miracle of the incarnation and put God’s skin on.