Friday of the Second Week of Advent
Isaiah 48:17-19, Psalm 1: 1-4, 6, & Matthew 11:16-19
In today's Gospel narrative, Jesus offers us a glimpse of one of the games children played in His time. I like to think that He played the same game when he was a child growing up in Nazareth. However, it is a picture of failure, a "botched" game. The image is of children who refuse to play the game and decide to play a different tune, which Jesus uses as a comparison for His contemporary generation. We know that John the Baptist was too forbidding for his time, and Jesus was too tolerant for them. Therefore, they would respond to neither of them.
We cannot go through life focused exclusively on what we do not want, for that can only lead to avoidance—not involvement. We need to focus on what we are for, not just what we oppose. Focusing on what we are against fosters antagonism, prejudice, and resentment, which would seem to be what made the uncooperative children sulk instead of focusing on encouraging initiative and drive. Sometimes we spend so much energy avoiding what we do not want that, when the time comes for us to do what we want, we are just exhausted and lack the enthusiasm to do it.
Today's Gospel narrative is a challenge from the Lord urging us to name our desires, what we want, and the tunes to which we would gladly respond. It would be good to ask the Lord to help us recognize the things He wants from us, not just the things He is against, so we can have a model to guide our desires.
Question of the Day: How will you involve yourself living a "Christlike" life?
Prayer: "The Lord will come; go out to meet Him! He is the prince of peace. Alleluia, alleluia."