“To what then will I compare the people of this generation, and what are they like? They are like children sitting in the marketplace and calling to one another, ‘We played the flute for you, and you did not dance; we wailed, and you did not weep.’ For John the Baptist has come eating no bread and drinking no wine, and you say, ‘He has a demon’; the Son of Man has come eating and drinking, and you say, ‘Look, a glutton and a drunkard, a friend of tax collectors and sinners! ’Nevertheless, wisdom is vindicated by all her children.”
New Revised Standard Version, copyright 1989, by the National Council of the Churches of Christ in the United States of America. Used by permission. All rights reserved. USCCB approved http://www.usccb.org/bible/approved-translations
Have you ever been in a situation when it seemed no matter what you said or did, it was not going to be accepted or approved by at least a good number of people? And isn’t it true, those people tend to be the most vocal? In my years as a high school principal, that seemed to happen more frequently than I liked. We all run into these situations and they are difficult to navigate.
This seems to be the case in today’s gospel from Luke. Jesus is expressing frustration that many think of John as possessed because of his ascetic lifestyle, while they think of Jesus as a glutton and drunkard because he does not practice the asceticism of John and because he reaches out to tax collectors and sinners.
Two simple thoughts come to my mind. First, it is not wrong or unreasonable to express frustration and disappointment in such situations. Second, always be true to God’s call, just as Jesus was. But how can we be sure we are being true to God’s call? If we can answer one simple question affirmatively, I think we can be confident we are true to God’s call. The question is, “What does love require?”
—David McNulty is the Provincial Assistant for Advancement, Chicago-Detroit Province Jesuits
Lord, sometimes we place negative labels on people we don’t understand, who threaten our preconceptions, or call forth a change in us. Help us to pierce through our prejudging by truly listening, by evaluating if people are helped, healed, welcomed, or accepted. Lord, grant us courage and the wisdom to see in others – all others – your own creation and love.
—The Jesuit Prayer TeamPlease share the Good Word with your friends!