At this moment Susan Boyle is a big hit. She is a 47 year old, single woman from Scotland who appeared recently on a British talent show. Her appearance made the judges and audience begin to laugh and grimace. Susan came on stage to sing a song. She was not the typical beauty queen that you might expect to see on stage in these shows. She appears a bit “frumpy” some might say. She looked rather ordinary. People were trying to be “kind” and not to laugh at her. I guess they thought her ordinary appearance meant that she did not have any special talent.
Then Susan began to sing. She sang “I Had A Dream” from a popular musical. Her voice was beautiful. The audience stood and cheered. The judges looked amazed, smiled, cried. She got a “Yes” from all three judges.
Everyone had prejudged her according to some stereotype that is very media driven. People who look like you and me don’t have big voice talent, and go on television. Talent comes with a certain look. So many people want to look like some show biz person. Susan Boyle just wanted to look like Susan Boyle.
Jesus just wanted to look like Jesus and do what he had come to do, save us by dying on the cross and then rising. The last thing most people saw of Jesus was a bloody dead body executed by the Romans. Even in life he was too much like everybody else in appearance so that they could not see him as the Messiah, God Incarnate. Expectations of a Messianic figure were not one Jesus lived up to in the eyes of most people.
Like with Susan Boyle, Jesus had many doubting Thomases. Thomas saw disaster, and God could not be in this disaster. What about us? When life seems like so much of a mess, full of wounds, do we say that God cannot be present in the mess? Do we judge others by their appearance, and then decide they are not worth something, or have no talent? Or are we the Blessed who believe and encourage others in finding their talent before it is even shone forth? Do we believe in ourselves? Did not God gift us with fruits and gifts of the Spirit at our Baptism? God is here. Each of us has a talent or two, no matter how we look. Each of us has a bit of Susan Boyle in us. Maybe we can yet live out a dream that had never been a dream to God. It had always been a hidden talent given by God, buried within us and waiting to arise. Believe in you and believe in one another. We are the body of Christ.