FRIDAY OF THE 2ND WEEK OF ADVENT GOSPEL, REFLECTION AND COMMENTARY. JESUS REPROACHES PEOPLE FOR THEIR UNBELIEF (Mt 11:16-19).
FRIDAY OF THE 2ND WEEK OF ADVENT GOSPEL
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.”
COMMENTARY FROM THE NAVARRE BIBLE, GOSPEL OF ST. MATTHEW (with permission)
- 16-19 Making reference to a popular song or a child’s game of his time, Jesus reproaches those who offer groundless excuses for not recognizing him. From the beginning of human history the Lord has striven to attract all men to himself: “What more was there to do for my vineyard, that I have not done in it?” (Is 5:4), and often he has been rejected: “When I looked for it to yield grapes, why did it yield wild grapes?” (Is 5:4).
- Our Lord also condemns calumny: some people do try to justify their own behaviour by seeing sin where there is only virtue. “When they find something which is quite obviously good,” St Gregory the Great says, “they pry into it to see if there is not also some badness hidden in it” (Moralia, 6, 22).
- The Baptist’s fasting they interpret as the work of the devil; whereas they accuse Jesus of being a glutton. The evangelist has to report these calumnies and accusations spoken against our Lord; otherwise, we would have no notion of the extent of the malice of those who show such furious opposition to Him who went about doing good (Acts 10:38). On other occasions Jesus warned his disciples that they would be treated the same way as he was (cf. Jn 15:20).
- The works of Jesus, and John the Baptist, each in their own way, lead to the accomplishment of God’s plan for man’s salvation: the fact that some people do not recognize him does not prevent God’s plan being carried into effect.
Dear brethren in Christ, Our Lord laments the fact that the people ignore both him and John. There are people unable to see the Lord. They are the eternally dissatisfied, intransigent with others, and only see the negative in men. There are those who always misinterpret their actions, those who consider themselves superior to others. The Lord had to deal with such people.
For this reason, the most diverse and contradictory accusations have been directed at all times against the Lord and against his message of salvation. May we always see people and events in an objective way without giving into prejudice and may we always welcome God’s invitation to conversion and message of salvation with concrete deeds.
A Blessed Advent to all. Fr. Rolly Arjonillo
TOPIC: ARE YOU PRONE TO BELIEVE HEARSAY, HAVE BIASES AND NEGATIVE FIRST IMPRESSIONS OF PEOPLE?
1st Reading Isaiah 48:17-19
Responsorial Psalm Psalms 1:1-2, 3, 4 AND 6
Gospel Matthew 11:16-19
We can be judgmental of people based on first impressions. We are also, oftentimes, swayed by the negative things we hear about people and such shape our behavior and impressions of them. This cloud of doubt immediately hinders the potential of a beautiful, rewarding and lasting relationship from developing.
We reflect on six ways to combat these negative attitudes that prevent us from fulfilling the commandment of love taught by Jesus.
Topic: DO YOU PERSEVERE TO GAIN WISDOM AND JOY?
In today’s first reading (Isaiah 48:17-19), the reflection of the prophet revolves around what could have been if Israel remained faithful to God. Instead of the exile that they are subjected to, they could have enjoyed prosperity and future generations would have benefitted from their obedience. “If only you would attend to my commandments, your peace would be like a river, your vindication like the waves of the sea, your descendants like the sand, the offspring of your loins like its grains, their name never cut off or blotted out from my presence.”The gospel reading (Matthew 11:16-19), also talks about listening to God in the daily situations and people in our lives. John came to model austerity so that we can prepare well for the Lord’s coming with simplicity and an unfettered focus on our relationship with God. But people rejected him. Jesus is branded as a drunkard and glutton for associating with sinners and tax collectors. People did not want to believe.