The Good News for the Day, September 14, 2022
Wednesday of the Twenty-fourth Week of Ordinary Time (493)
Jesus says in public: “What kind of comparison can I use for the people of this generation—those not yet reborn?
What are they like? They’re like kids sitting on the playground yelling at each other, ‘We played music for you! You didn’t dance! We sang a sad song! You didn’t cry!’
John the Baptist came, particular about food and drink— you folks said, ‘He is possessed by a demon.’ This Human Child came eating and drinking without that concern, and you object. ‘Look, he eats and drinks too much. He’s a friend of scandalous tax collectors and notorious people.’
True wisdom is found to be right by her resulting children.” (Luke 7)
Reflections the Word of Jesus
Ads are the children of false wisdom, today’s pressure. Ads try to get you to slide into society and “get with it.” What’s the matter with you—they say—why not support this cause, buy his soap, upgrade your TV showing, and send money to this candidate?
Every day, new pressures come our way, to swerve us from the prayerful, humble and loving life of following Jesus.
- Increase your ownership of pleasurable goods, the ads beg.
- Get something better than your neighbor.
- Hateful groups entice you to a superiority, a distancing from “lesser ones.”
- Use this product to show yourself as better, richer, stronger, “more better” than others.
Followers of Jesus observe this pressure. Society offers half-truths.
Jesus reminds us to sift out in what we listen to. Does it include the love of God, caring for neighbor, and living as equal Children of God. Sometimes the sifting is complex and confusing–and really hard to figure figure out..
Sometimes it is hard not to listen to the siren invitations. —
to discern that what we eat and drink ARE part of the Kingdom of God. How we spend and save money pertain to heaven. What we choose to hear and see define our soul. Friends we choose both consciously and unconsciously pressure us.
The Important Here
The last line in this reading is profound – but is the key and the point. The wise person – the truly wise one – looks at the results that the pressures want to cause.
Followers of Jesus always have the long view, the permanent one, the consideration of eternity. What benefit for eternity does this ad offer? What value is this friendship? How profitable to both of us is this pressure from society?
The playing of the children on the playground is sometimes bullying and relentless. It takes a gradually growing strength into wise maturity to reject “this generation” and its values. Seductions happen, we succumb sometimes.
A follower of Jesus keeps in mind real people – those who are really poor, the strugglers and fallen, addicts and depressed, those mentally ill, physically challenged, and heartbroken. These models separate us from the pressures of society. Real people keep us on the way of the cross. There we find our true family of God and the kingdom of heaven.
The Good News lets us follow the lead away from these songs and dances and into the joy and peace of our own wisdom, our own loving, and our own loyalty to God.