A Lesson about the Heart
December 9, 2016 (readings)
Friday of the Second Week of Advent
Matthew 11: 16-19
Jesus said to the crowds: “To what shall I compare this generation? It is like children who sit in the 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.”
Introductory Prayer: Lord Jesus, thank you for this new day and all the graces you will bless me with. I believe in you and your love for me. I wish to show my love for you by staying focused on what is most important during this time of prayer: you and your most holy will.
Petition: Lord Jesus, help me to see your actions and the actions of others with the eyes of faith.
1. Eyes of Faith: God comes to us in many and various ways each day. Sometimes he reveals his goodness to us when he allows us to succeed in life. Other times he permits trials in our life so that we can cling more surely to him. The proper response to God’s constant action in our lives will only be possible if we are able to discern that it is indeed God who is acting –– that it is God who is “playing the flute for us” or “singing a dirge for us”. We need the eyes of faith. A habitual interior attitude of faith and trust in God allows us to live with great peace and purpose.
2. Worldly Standards of Judgment: Jesus complains when the crowds use worldly standards to size him up. They are caught up in their opinions and all too easily pass judgment on him. They accuse Jesus of being possessed by a demon, a drunkard, and so on. How easy is it for me to judge others by accepting or rejecting them for mere external things? What are my internal attitudes towards others? Lord, help me to be detached from all worldly standards of judging and to embrace each soul, loving them as you do, and to leave the judging to you.
3. But Wisdom is Vindicated by Her Works: Despite the rejection and harsh judgments of many, Jesus went about doing good. This is what he meant by saying that “wisdom is vindicated by her works”. In the same vein he also taught that you can recognize a tree by its fruits. Knowing how easy it is to misjudge others, I cannot permit myself to worry about what others may say or think of me. Rather I need to be busy like Jesus, going about doing good. Good actions speak for themselves, even if it may take a while for others to perceive or appreciate them. When we trustfully follow along to the flute or the dirge Our Lord is playing for us, and we do so for his sake and for the sake of spreading his message, we can rest in the certainty that God is blessing us and will bring his good works to fruition through us.
Conversation with Christ: Thank you, Jesus, for this opportunity to spend time with you in prayer. Let it be my motivation for the day and bring me to live a greater spirit of faith in you and the mission you have entrusted me. How much it would help me to consider my actions, the actions of others and your actions under the light of your love and good will. I do believe that you permit everything that happens in my life for the sake of bringing about a greater good, but Lord, increase my faith.
Resolution: I will strive to interpret the actions of others in a positive way, excusing any defects I may perceive.
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