Gospel text (Lc 7,31-35):
The Lord said, «What comparison can I use for this people? What are they like? They are like children sitting in the marketplace, about whom their companions complain: ‘We piped you a tune and you wouldn't dance; we sang funeral songs and you wouldn't cry’. Remember John: he didn't eat bread or drink wine, and you said: ‘He has an evil spirit’. Next came the Son of Man, eating and drinking, and you say: ‘Look, a glutton for food and wine, a friend of tax collectors and sinners’. But the children of Wisdom always recognize her work».
«What comparison can I use for this people?»
Fr. Xavier SERRA i Permanyer
(Sabadell, Barcelona, Spain)
Today, Jesus confirms the hardness of heart of the people of his time, at least, as far as the Pharisees are concerned, so self-assured that nobody can convert them. They do not alter their mind not even before John the Baptist, «he didn't eat bread or drink wine» (Lk 7:33), and accuse him of having an evil spirit; they do not change either before the Son of Man, «eating and drinking», and they say «Look, a glutton for food and wine», and «a friend of tax collectors and sinners» (Lk 7:34). Their pride and arrogance are hiding behind these accusations: nobody is to teach them anything; they do not accept God, but they custom-make their own God, a God that would not move them from their convenience, privileges and involvement.
We are also running this risk. How often do we criticize everything: whether the Church says so, or because she has said that, or even when she says just the contrary...; and we could just as well find all sort of faults when referring to God or to others. In actual fact, however, and perhaps unconsciously, we want to justify our laziness and lack of ambition for a true conversion, to excuse our own convenience and lack of flexibility. St. Bernard says: «What is more logic than acknowledging our own wounds and scars, especially when one shields them so they are not seen? From this we may infer that, ultimately, even if somebody else discovers them, we might stubbornly defend that they are not wounds, and leave our heart abandoned to deceiving words».
We must let the Word of God to reach our heart and convert us, transforming us with its strength. But first, we must request the gift of humility. Only the humble souls are able to receive the grace of God and, therefore, let Him come close to us, since as “publicans” and “sinners” that we are we need him to heal us. ¡Woe betide those who claim that they do not need a doctor! The worst for any diseased is to believe he is healthy, because then the sickness will progress and he will never recover his health. We are all sick to death, and only Christ can save us, whether we realize it or not. Let us thank our Saviour, and let us welcome him as such!