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Jesus laments

Gospel Reading: Mt 11:16-19
Jesus said to the crowds: “To what shall I compare this generation? It is like children who sit in marketplaces and call to one another, ‘We played the flute for you, but you did not dance, we sang a dirge but you did not mourn.’ For John came neither eating nor drinking, and they said, ‘He is possessed by a demon.’ The Son of Man came eating and drinking and they said, ‘Look, he is a glutton and a drunkard, a friend of tax collectors and sinners.’ But wisdom is vindicated by her works.”

The mission of John the Baptist and Jesus is wisdom personified. The unbelieving generation misinterprets the methods of both. When John fasts as he preaches the baptism of repentance, the unbelievers do not take it as edifying but see it as an evil to exorcise. When Jesus adopts a different stance, as he eats and drinks with sinners, they take offense at him. They are always negative, no matter what. As a saying puts it, “Damned if you do, damned if you don’t.” There is wisdom in fasting. John the Baptist gains a lot of followers. He is able to prepare people for the coming of Jesus. There is also wisdom in associating with sinners. They draw closer to Jesus. Misinterpretations happen when we do not identify who John or Jesus is in the history of salvation. John paves the way for Jesus who is considered the “Son of Man.” This title, mentioned in the Book of Daniel, has an apocalyptic bearing. When the Jews were persecuted by the Hellenists, they prayed for God’s protection. It would be the Son of Man who would accomplish this, giving judgment to the unbelievers.

Do you see Christ in your neighbors? Do you recognize the wisdom of approaching those who do not know anything about their faith?

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