Jesus spoke to the crowds: «Now, to what can I compare the people of this day? They are like children sitting in the marketplace, about whom their companions complain: ‘We played the flute for you but you would not dance. We sang a funeral-song but you would not cry!’. For John came fasting and people said: ‘He is possessed’. Then the Son of Man came, he ate and drank, and people said: ‘Look at this man! A glutton and drunkard, a friend of tax collectors and sinners!’. Yet the outcome will prove Wisdom to be right».
Jesus seems to be disappointed with the way human being behave and act. He is telling us that this immature humanity, act like a little boy. What exactly Jesus is telling us and that needed to be corrected.
A little boy sees and demands the elders to interpret the invisible truth hidden in the visible events. If we are not be able to cross over from the visible realities to the invisible truth, we may not understand the truth in front of us.
The maturity to see and discern, is judged the way we look at these events. Jesus is pointing to us one such event that these people see only the fault, and it is dangerous, because this coloured vision of the reality may destroy the truth in us.
The way we look at people and events is a beautiful mirror of our interiority. If we are able to see in us the goodness, the beauty and the generosity, then we see in and around us too the same elements. If we fail to see in us the goodness, how can we be able to identify the goodness outside of us? All those who listen to the Word of God and put them in practice, will be guided with divine wisdom to see the goodness not only in them, but also in others. These are the happy and liberated people. Are you one of them?
Daily Quote from the early church fathers:
The river of forgiveness washes us clean, by Ambrose of Milan, 339-397 A.D.
"This water is good, then. I mean here the grace of the Spirit. Who will give this Fountain to my heart? Let it spring up in me, let that which gives eternal life flow on me. Let that Fountain overflow on us and not flow away. For Wisdom says, 'Drink water out of your own vessels and from the fountains of your own wells, and let [not] your waters flow abroad in your streets' (Proverbs 5:15-16). How shall I keep this water so that it does not seep out or glide away? How shall I preserve my vessel, lest any crack of sin penetrating it should let the water of eternal life exude? Teach us, Lord Jesus, teach us as you taught your apostles, saying, 'Lay not up for yourselves treasures on the earth, where rust and moth destroy and where thieves break through and steal (Matthew 6:19)...
"If you seek Jesus, forsake the broken cisterns, for Christ did not make it his custom to sit by a pool but by a well. There that Samaritan woman (John 4:6) found him, she who believed, she who wished to draw water. Although you ought to have come in early morning, nevertheless if you come later, even at the sixth hour, you will find Jesus wearied with his journey. He is weary, but it is because of you, because he has long looked for you, your unbelief has long wearied him. Yet he is not offended if you only come now. He asks to drink who is about to give. But he drinks not the water of a stream flowing by, but your salvation. He drinks your good dispositions. He drinks the cup, that is, the passion that atoned for your sins, that you, drinking of his sacred blood, might quench the thirst of this world." (excerpt from ON THE HOLY SPIRIT 1.16.182–84)
«To what can I compare the people of this day?»
Fr. Antoni CAROL i Hostench
(Sant Cugat del Vallès, Barcelona, Spain)
Today, we should be distraught before the Lord’s sigh: «To what can I compare the people of this day?» (Mt 11:16). Jesus is overwhelmed by our heart, more often than not, nonconforming and ungrateful. We are never fulfilled; we are complaining all the time. We even dare to blame Him for all the things that disturb us.
«Yet the outcome will prove Wisdom to be right» (Mt 11:19): it suffices to just look at the Christmas mystery. But what about us? how is our faith? Could it be that our complaints are actually harboring the nonexistence of our reply? A very appropriate query for the time of Advent!
God comes to our encounter, but man —especially the present-day man— hides out from Him. Some, as Herod, are really afraid of Him. Others are even harassed by his simple presence: «Take him away, take him away! Crucify him!» (Jn 19:15). Jesus «is the God-who-comes» (Benedict XVI) and we look like "the-man-who-goes away": «He came to what was his own, but his own people did not accept him» (Jn 1:11).
Why do we run away? Because of our lack of meekness. Saint John the Baptist recommended us to "dwindle". And the Church reminds us so, every time the Advent comes. We must, therefore, become as little children to be able to understand and receive the "Little God". He appears in front of us with the humility of his swaddling-clothes: never before a “God-wrapped-in-swaddling clothes” had been preached! We project a ridiculous image before God when we try to conceal ourselves with pretexts and dishonest explanations. Already at the dawn of humanity, Adam blamed Eve; Eve blamed the snake..., after all the centuries gone by, we remain just the same.
Jesus-God, however, is coming: in the cold and the poverty of Bethlehem he neither admonished nor rebuked us. On the contrary! He begins to load his small shoulders with the weight of all our faults. Should we, then, be afraid of Him? Will our apologies be truly worth before this "Little-God"? «God’s sign is the Baby: we learn to live with him and to practice with him that humility of renunciation that belongs to the very essence of love» (Benedict XVI).