the unlikely

Apr 2, 2022


To this they answered,
‘Are you a Galilean too?
Go into the matter, and see for yourself:
prophets do not come out of Galilee.’

In one of the Homily Studio podcasts a few weeks ago we remembered that some people respond negatively to new things and new thinking with the repressive reasoning: we can’t do that….why not? Because we have never done it that way before!

The New Testament scribes and pharisees were masters of this fear-filled logic. Two thousand years later too many new thinkings and great initiatives fall victim to narrow perspective.

Instead of wisely considering the message, we more often ridicule and even persecute the messenger justifying our prejudice by suggesting that prophets do not come out of Galilee, or from among family or friends, or from our neighbourhood our city or our land.

I’m reminded of a conversation in the great Evelyn Waugh novel “Brideshead Revisited.”  Skeptical agnostic Charles is in conversation with the simplistically Catholic Lady Marchmain.

Charles comments “I said something about a camel and the eye of a needle and she rose happily to the point.”

Lady Marchmain replies:

“‘But of course,’ she said, ‘it’s very unexpected for a camel to go through the eye of a needle, but the gospel is simply a catalogue of unexpected things. It’s not to be expected that an ox and an ass should worship at the crib.”

The person of faith will delight in the unexpected evidence of Christ present in the most unlikely people and surprising moments. As Lady Marchmain reminds us the gospel is full of God popping up in the unexpected.

Let’s make a point of noticing Jesus present and active in the unexpected today.



  1. Yes. One prayer we say, thanks to the Sisters of Mercy office book is:

    Lord, may we see you in the interruptions of today!

  2. I think this will be helped if we recognize God with us not above us and with God’s help anything is possible, if we but believe.

  3. Thank you Father, for such a straightforward, reflection. So very true.


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