China Miéville’s 2009 award-winning book The City and the City has a bit of a preposterous setting: two city-states that overlap in time and space (placed somewhere in Eastern Europe). Despite sharing the same space, the residents of each city hate the other so much so that they have developed a way to totally ignore the existence of the other. The act of “unseeing” the people around them is at the core of this science fiction story (China Miéville, The City and the City [London, UK: Macmillan Publishers, 2009]). But while this work is fiction, it definitely resonates with our world. How often do we consciously and unconsciously “unsee” other people: those we disagree with, those we don’t approve of, those we want nothing to do with? The story in Luke’s Gospel today shows Jesus interacting with two types of people whom Israel tried very hard to unsee.
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