Tuesday, April 16, 2013

Acts 9:36-43

Easter 4 - Year C 

What is to be focused on here?

— Is it the resurrection of Tabitha? A reprise of a young girl being raised with words of “Talitha cum”?

— Is it the resurrection of Peter, still in his pre-expansive vision state, actually staying with an unclean tanner?

In this story, Simon the Tanner is practically a throw-away line. Living with someone who is perpetually designated as unclean for dealing with dead animals may have emboldened Peter to at least speak to a dead body, if not yet touch it.

Imagine a midrash on St. Simon the Tanner who so influenced St. Peter the Rocky. No, not St. Simon the Tanner of Coptic fame from the 10th century, but the not yet St. Simon the Tanner of Joppa in the 1st century. 

One commentator posits that Simon was host to the “first multi-ethnic conference in the history of the gospel.” That may be a bit much, but it points at an innate sense of hospitality. At any rate, would you or would you not vote to canonize little ol’ Simon, humble tanner and straight-man for Peter’s conversion/resurrection to inclusion?

Whichever way you vote, the role Tanner Simon played in Peter’s life and Jesus’ cause of being for everyone still needs playing in our world. Tag — you're it!

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