Now, to what can I compare the people of this day? They are like children sitting in the marketplace, about whom their companions complain: ‘We played the flute for you but you would not dance. We sang a funeral-song but you would not cry!’
For John came fasting and people said: ‘He is possessed by a demon.’ Then the Son of Man came, he ate and drank, and people said, ‘Look at this man: a glutton and drunkard, a friend of tax collectors and sinners!’ Yet wisdom is vindicated by her works.”
The Gospel of today is one of the frequent laments of Jesus about his generation and its reluctance to accept his preaching. He uses here a parable about children in the market place. They play flutes like for a wedding, but the people don’t dance. They sing funeral-songs and the people don’t cry. Jesus gives us the meaning of the parable. John’s message of penance should be “funeral-songs.” The reaction was only partially good. In fact he was accused of demoniac possession, even if some Jews were baptized.
Jesus is not in desert, except during the forty days before his public ministry. He frequents the social life of villages and towns including joining in the festivities like singing the songs during wedding. The reaction similarly is negative: he is glutton and drunkard, a friend of sinners.
However the design of the divine Wisdom was right in its progressive pedagogy to lead to the full salvation in God.
Can we apply Jesus’ lament to our generation? We see in Advent, no penance and in Christmas, only materialistic pleasures. Where is the spiritual preparation for the coming of Jesus and the holy happiness in his presence?
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