Wednesday, September 16, 2015

Status quo, you know, that is Latin for ''the mess we're in.'

I won't tell you that the world matters nothing, or the world's voice, or the voice of society. They matter a good deal. They matter far too much. But there are moments when one has to choose between living one's own life, fully, entirely, completely—or dragging out some false, shallow, degrading existence that the world in its hypocrisy demands. You have that moment now. Choose!” ―  Oscar Wilde: (1854 – 1900: Irish author, playwright and poet)
Gospel Text:  (Lk 7:31-35)
Jesus said to the crowds:
“To what shall I compare the people of this generation?
What are they like?
They are like children who sit in the marketplace and call to one another,

‘We played the flute for you, but you did not dance.
We sang a dirge, but you did not weep.’

For John the Baptist came neither eating food nor drinking wine,
and you said, ‘He is possessed by a demon.’
The Son of Man came eating and drinking and you said,
‘Look, he is a glutton and a drunkard,
a friend of tax collectors and sinners.’
But wisdom is vindicated by all her children.”

When I reflect on this passage, in 2015, it means something much different to me than it might have meant to the author and listeners when it was written almost 2,000 years ago.  “Children who sit in the marketplace and call to one another” evokes images of a Starbucks with people on their electronic devices, tapping away, oblivious to all that is going on around them.  And the image I take from the statements these children might be making is that they (the people) judge Jesus (and John before him) not based on the truth contained in what Jesus and John actually were doing, but on what the people conveniently (shallowly) judged them to be doing.

These verses are a reminder to me to avoid shallow distractions.

For today, let’s not be the generation Jesus speaks of in the readings as children focused on what isn’t while in the presence of the magnificence of what is.  Let’s know we have enough; let’s behave ourselves “in the household of God;” let’s be joyfully humbled by how “undeniably great is the mystery of devotion,” and thank God, yes, thank God, for however long we have life, that we have had it at all.

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