Dec 11 2020 Reflection
Friday 11 December 2020
First Reading: IS 48:17-19
Those who follow you, Lord, will have the light of life.
PS 1:1-2, 3, 4 AND 6
Gospel Reading: MT 11:16-19
Today’s Note: Friday of the Second Week of Advent
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.”
We played the flute for you, but you did not dance. (Matthew 11:17)
Jesus compares “this generation” (Matthew 11:16) to children demanding that their playmates always follow their lead: dance when they play a lilting tune, mourn when they sing a dirge. But Jesus himself did not follow along; in fact, he told the crowd, “Wisdom is vindicated by her works” (11:19). In other words, accept or reject something based on the fruit it bears, not on whether it is in step with current opinion.
We might think that the children in today’s Gospel are kind of silly. But their attitude can teach us how to receive Jesus more fully this Christmas. Obviously, we’re all sinners, so we know that Jesus won’t always be in step with our opinions or our preferences. So we shouldn’t expect him always to fit into our carefully designed plans. Instead, we need to listen for the music he’s playing. How is he asking us to join in his dance? Is he asking us to go beyond a narrow mindset that limits our expectations? Or maybe he is inviting us to encounter him in new ways.
What might this look like? For some of us, it could mean being willing to serve side by side with fellow believers who might disagree with us on some points of doctrine or politics. Or maybe we will sense Jesus nudging us to put aside a judgmental thought about that neighbor who always seems to look down her nose on us. We might try to understand the viewpoint of people from a different social or economic background so that we see them in a new way. Or perhaps the Spirit is asking us to distance ourselves from conversations that aren’t all that upbuilding.
The more we go out of ourselves and try our best to get in tune with Jesus’ thoughts and actions, the closer we will draw to him. That will help us receive him more fully as we celebrate his birth at Christmas.
The song of the kingdom is playing, and Jesus is inviting you to join him. Don’t let anything stand in the way!
“Jesus, I want to follow your lead, not expect you to follow mine.”