"He certainly did not search for the best and the brightest of his time"
Sunday Homily for January 27, 2008
Third Sunday in Ordinary time (3A)
By Father Andrew M. Greeley
Sunday Readings: Matthew 4:12-23
Galilee was the "wild west" of Palestine, a rough, unruly place with bandits and revolutionaries wandering about and a population which was considered by the religious elites in Jerusalem to be uncouth and semi-literate religiously and infected by the paganism of the area. It was called the "Galilee of the Gentiles" because there was a large population of Hellenistic pagans mixed in with the Jews who had only recently begun to resettle a land which had been devastated by earlier wars.
A rough parallel to what Jesus did when he walked along the lakeside and summoned his disciples would be if he had walked down the pain street of Tombstone Arizona and selected the odd cowboy and merchant and drifter for his band. He certainly did not search for the best and the brightest of his time, though he probably knew of what the men would be capable in years ahead. There are, perhaps, more potentially great men (in the world) than humankind recognizes.
This is a story for those who cannot understand why Jesus didn’t use better taste in choosing those who would represent him in the world, especially his priests.
One upon a time a group of boys in their late teens swarmed out on the basketball court on a Sunday in January when the temperature had risen to fifty degrees, warm enough to play basketball, right? In t shirts, right? Anyway the outcome of their games was often determined by the flip of the coin which decided who would have first chance of choosing sides. The one who lost got the second and third choice and so on. It was supposed to be fair but it was also BORING. So this particular day, the kid that had the first choice picked the worst player in the crowd. Of course his opponent choose the two best players.
Then our hero choose the second and third worst until he had chosen the four worst players. These guys think they’re hot stuff (not his exact word!) he send to his bedraggled team mates. They think they’re going to mop up the court with us. Lets teach them a lesson. Well, the other guys were so over confident that they missed their shots and the poor team beat them 21-10. See, the winning captain whispered to the losing captain, I am so good I can win with inferior players. So there too. Did Jesus do the same thing?