“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.
How could anyone think that John the Baptist was possessed by a demon? Or that Jesus Christ was a drunkard and a glutton? It’s hard to admit, but I can remember times in my life when I felt uncomfortable or even annoyed by “holy people.” And I’m not alone. Reading this passage, I’m reminded of the preposterous things people said about St. Mother Teresa after her death. How could anyone feel anything but love for Mother Teresa?
The Spiritual Exercises may give us some insight. Sometimes our hearts can be so hardened by sin that when we’re presented with good, evil touches our spirit “sharply and with noise and disquiet, as when the drop of water falls on the stone.” But if we are on the road to holiness, good things fall like “water on a sponge.” Is your heart more like a stone or a sponge?
—Sam Mauck is the Director of Catholic Campus & Young Adult Ministry for the Diocese of Memphis, which is a member of the Charis Ministries Partner Program.
Come, let us sing joyfully to the LORD;
cry out to the rock of our salvation.
Let us come before him with a song of praise,
joyfully sing out our psalms.
For the LORD is the great God,
the great king over all gods,
Whose hand holds the depths of the earth;
who owns the tops of the mountains.
The sea and dry land belong to God,
who made them, formed them by hand.
Enter, let us bow down in worship;
let us kneel before the LORD who made us.
For he is our God,
we are the people he shepherds,
the sheep in his hands.
Oh, that today you would hear his voice:
Do not harden your hearts as at Meribah,
as on the day of Massah in the desert.