Good morning, happy Wednesday, and many blessings.
In today’s Gospel (Luke 7:31-35) we see the novelty of the Good News which opens its way and thus persons who are attached to ancient forms of faith feel lost and do not understand anything more of God’s action. In order to hide their lack of openness and of understanding they defend and seek childish pretexts to justify their attitude of lack of acceptance. Jesus reacts with a parable to denounce the incoherence of his enemies: “You are similar to children who do not know what they want”.
There are matters which get space in the Gospel, but which are not ‘hot’ topics for us. The relationship between John the Baptist and Jesus has long been settled but at the time of the Gospels, it was a matter of discussion and debate. To over-simplify the issue; to some followers of John, it was clear that since John baptized Jesus, he must be above Jesus. Today, we can leave that issue aside and look at the moral issue the passage raises.
This scripture passage reminds us that children tend to act out of their feelings of the present moment. Mature adulthood can share feelings but can put order into life and give preference to reason and trust. God helps us to grow in this kind of maturity, and through our relationship with Him we learn to follow His ways. He passes on His wisdom to us so that we can be in charge in our lives, not be victims of our moods.
To what extent do we address situations, motivated by our attitudes rather than by principles. Some we call ‘gluttons’ and others we call ‘possessed’ because it suits us. Reflection on the situation in our world shows that this this simple saying of Jesus casts a light on our badly polarized world and, also on our own judgements. A child’s complaints are compelling; their experience of being treated unfairly takes them over. Jesus sees childishness in how some adults behave. Is there some way in which I suspect Jesus is inviting me to grow up?
Much of the social commentary of our age is like the children shouting in the marketplace – transitory, inescapable, momentarily engaging but shallow. Being here, now, is my way of connecting with a lasting, truer message. I take the time I need to let the surface chatter go and to listen for God, who speaks in the depth of my heart.
Jesus here is trying to shake us up! Do I need a shake? Am I any more than half-alive? My soul can become numb, paralyzed, drugged, fragmented. I can remain unmoved no matter what God does for me. Sometimes the pain of others does not move my heart. I can be hard to please: psychologists speak of persons who live lives of ‘a thousand little disgusts’! Gratitude and praise for God’s goodness can be weak and faltering in me.
My prayer for today is this one: Jesus, pull me out from my self-made tombs so that I may live out my life with you to the full. I want to be as you are, fully alive and vibrant with the life of God.