December 10, 2004
Friday of the Second Week of Advent
Jason Koch, LC
Jesus said to the crowds: “To what
shall I compare this generation? It is like children who
sit in the 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.
Introductory Prayer:Lord of
my life, to what shall I compare your love for
me? I believe in your power and grace and call
upon you to form and channel my efforts towards holiness.
I want to set my standards to be the same
as yours. I want to melt away so that you
can live in me and use me as your instrument
of grace for those around me.
Petition:Jesus, help me not
to allow myself to be led by the spirit of
the world, nor pick and choose which of your commandments
I will follow. Give me the grace to be yours
wholly and perpetually.
1. This Generation. “To what shall I compare
this generation?” These words of Christ apply to our society
today and paint a clear picture of what we should
and should not be. Today’s Gospel speaks about those who
find fault with Christ. Today’s society finds fault with Christ
at every turn: in his humility, in the way he
doesn’t crush the little one, in his call for purity
of heart, in his preaching about the passing of material
things, in his urgent cry to sacrifice ourselves in reparation
for sin, in his willingness to forgive his very enemies.
Nothing Christ does is accepted today by the world. How
does the world affect me today? Are my decisions founded
on Christ’s ways––often revolutionary ways––, or do I find fault
as well? Do I only accept a Christ who will
come down from the cross? Would I find fault today
with a Christ who forgave an offender against something or
someone dear to me: my children, my things, my spouse,
my work, my time? What do I love more, Christ
or my things?
2. What Do They Say? Christ tells
this parable about what they say. Christ, however, doesn’t care
what they say except insofar as it shows that they
have hardened their hearts and refuse to follow him. Christ’s
manner of being is not affected by what others say.
So why speak about what they say? This parable is
a warning to those who care about what the world
says. It is as if Christ is stopping to laugh
at them––or maybe even mourn over their dithering––, but as
well to point out something he doesn’t want us to
imitate. Our worst tragedy should be that one day Christ
would look at our lives and laugh or mourn or
have his heart broken because we refuse to follow his
words and example.
3. What Does Christ Say? And this
brings us to what we really should be asking: not
“What do they say?”, but rather, “What is Christ saying?”
What does Christ say about my actions, what does he
think about my life? True Godly respect should replace that
tainted, and so often self-servicing, human respect which has the
ability to twist our lives like vines by wrapping us
around the world’s ways of looking at Christ and his
Gospel. A true Christian is focused on Christ and does
not care about any opinion other than Christ’s. A true
Christian does not allow any other point of view to
taint his own and draw him away from the one
Dialogue with Christ: Dearest Jesus, thank you for
your commandments which free me from myself. Thank you for
giving me a true guide in your Church and in
the Holy Father. Thank you for your words of life
that are made present to me through the Gospels. I
pray only that you would not let me ever disregard
these gifts or take them for granted. Be the center
of my life, standards and decisions, so that everything I
do will be for you and your kingdom. Amen.
I will be especially attentive to fulfilling my commitments today
even when it is costly for my human respect.