We’re beginning to read from the Gospel of Mark in the liturgy these days. Yesterday, Jesus called disciples, some fishermen, to be “fishers of men” and to announce his Kingdom. (Mark 1, 14-20) They were the people he chose.
The gospels never enhance or exaggerate their profile. They’re fishermen. Hardly the people you would pick to begin a worldwide movement. But their power is not the power that brings about the Kingdom. It’s Jesus, who shared his mission with them and, surprisingly, with us.
A famous 5th century mosaic in the Church of San Pudentiana in Rome pictures the apostles dressed as Roman senators solemnly seated at a messianic banquet. Wouldn’t they squirm in a role like that? Imagine Peter going about the city dressed like a Roman senator.
I don’t think so.
I think they always remembered who they were and where they came from. They knew their limitations and their failings. They were fishermen from Galilee, who had been invited to be part of a great enterprise through no merit of their own.
There’s nothing wrong with humility, which is recognizing the truth about yourself and where power and wisdom come from.