For example, why does round pizza come in a square box? Why is it that people pay to go up to the Cupola of St. Peter’s Basilica and then put money in binoculars to look at things they left down there?
Why do we press harder on a remote control when we know the batteries are flat? Why do we write a message to ask ‘why are you not picking up the phone’ when we had already heard the phone is switched off? Why do banks charge a fee on ‘insufficient funds’ when they know that there is already not enough money? It’s absurd, isn’t it?
There is this story by Br. Anthony that one day an elephant decided to go to swim. No sooner had he gone into the water when a little mouse ran up and down the swimming pool demanding that the elephant get out of the water.
The elephant protested and asked what the problem was. The little mouse was adamant that the elephant had to get out of the water first and then he would tell him.
The elephant gave in and got out of the water. Then the little mouse said: So sorry, Mr. Elephant. I was just checking. Someone took my swimming costume and I was just checking if it was you who was wearing it.
That sounds like an absurd joke. But jokes are used to pass a message home. And the moral of the story is this: It is easier to think that an elephant can fit into the swimming costume of a mouse than for God’s plan to enter into the human heart. In other words, we can accept the absurdities of life more easily than we can accept the mysteries of God’s plan for us.
In today’s gospel, we heard Jesus forming his cabinet and it look absurd because these it’s is constituted by those people whomay to us and to the thinking of the time had not seen the inside of a class. Fishermen – Peter, Andrew, James and John. All they knew is mend nets ando to lower the net for a catch. Actually, even the latter they had no knowledge as we see later in another gospel – whole night without a catch till Jesus showed up!
Why it seems like a joke is that what Jesus wanted done would have required people of media and communications to pass the good news and the medics to cure the sick. But now fishermen! Was he serious?
But what we learn is that it is not the instrument which work but the person holding the instrument. It is not you and I who need to radiate the light to others in darkness of sins but Jesus holding us. Thus our work is to keep on shinning and Jesus do the radiating.
That is why it look absurd that many people die as martyrs. This is not to support Marxist ideology of upium but religion has some mysterious character.
Jesus was pure in entrepreneurship. How could he equate the value of one lost sheep with 99 already at hand?
Jesus doesn’t know logic. A woman loses her ten euro and at finding it she throw a party costing a hundred euro! This look completely illogical, except to the strange logic of the heart of Jesus.
He also said that Jesus is a risk-taker, a man with a publicity campaign that to human eyes is “doomed to failure.” How could he promise trials and persecutions for those who follow him. No guarantee of food or lodging, only a share of His own way of life. “Jesus is the risk-taker for the love of the Father and of humanity, is a paradox from beginning to end, even for us who have become used to hearing it.”
Finally, Jesus doesn’t understand finance or economics. How can a good administrator pay the same wages to a person who has worked for one hour and the same to a person who has worked for the whole day?
Indeed Jesus is hard to understand. To some, He is strange and absurd. To others, He is a light that is too bright to look at.
To us, He calls and beckons us to follow Him and His light will guide us through this strange and absurd world.
(Migingo is not in Kenya)
We may look like “crack-pots” to follow Jesus. But only when there is crack that the light can shine in.
We may have no experience in passing the message of Jesus; we may have broken hearts from friends we cherish or family members or even co-workers in this pilgrimage but those cracks let’s the light in our hearts. We have to radiate it to others who are experiencing the same darkness of this unfair world of evil.
May St. Theresa of Lisieux, pray for us.
May Mother Mary the Queen of Apostles, pray for us.
(I acknowledge Fr. Stephen Yim from Singapore for sharing with me