And Jesus said, “What comparison can I use for this people? What are they like? They are like children sitting in the marketplace, about whom their companions complain: ‘We piped you a tune and you wouldn’t dance; we sang funeral songs and you wouldn’t cry.’
Remember John: he didn’t eat bread or drink wine, and you said: ‘He has an evil spirit.’ Next came the Son of Man, eating and drinking, and you say: ‘Look, a glutton for food and wine, a friend of tax collectors and sinners.’ But the children of Wisdom always recognize her work.”
The bile is a golden-yellow fluid produced by the liver. Its function is to help us digest fat. An excess of fat in the bloodstream is called jaundice. A person who suffers from jaundice experiences loss of appetite and frequent nausea. All foods taste bad to the jaundiced stomach. Yet, the foods are not what causes the bad taste, but rather the state of the person’s stomach.
In today’s gospel reading Jesus stigmatizes his contemporaries who are critical of everything God offers them. They criticize John the Baptist for being too ascetic and they criticize Jesus for being not ascetic enough. They are people with spiritual jaundice: everything they consume in the realm of religion tastes bad to their bilious palate. But the problem is with them, not with religion.
Every one of us can be criticized for one reason or other—if only for the sins we commit every day! Who cannot see that not much is gained by criticizing all the time? If we go down that road, we will only succeed in becoming bitter and in making life difficult for everybody around us. Let us courageously resist our natural tendency to criticize everything and everybody.
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