In today’s Eucharistic reading Matthew tells us of Jesus comparing those who resist his message to “children sitting in the market-places and calling to one another, “We played the flute for and you did not dance; we wailed, and you did not mourn” (Matthew 11:16-19). John came in his austerity and they said he had a demon. Jesus comes in a more relaxed mode, and they call him a glutton and drunkard. One way or another, they are determined to miss the point.
I don’t know about you, but I have often been determined to miss the message brought by another. I’m not usually conscious of that at the time, though I might experience some unease. Usually I’m just moving so fast I miss the feeling, and the message. I don’t get it until something slows me down - some sort of mishap or disaster, or a more direct confrontation with another person. Until then, I miss the point as long as I can.
When I do slow down and let the wisdom in, I can start to heal old wounds. But first, there’s usually a painful reckoning, a soul surgery - or at least a biopsy! - that’s needed. And of course, that’s what I’m resisting. Healing means changing, turning, repenting. It’s risky, letting God make me into something new - or something original, made new again. It’s too risky.
But truly, wisdom is vindicated by her deeds. I can cut myself out of the stream of life and love, I can refuse to join the party, but I can’t change the basic order of God’s world. My choices do not change God; they only affect where I will be in relation to God. Jesus is vindicated by his deeds. Wisdom comes to the marketplace and calls (Proverbs 8:1-4). Her offer is life and abundance. Jesus calls us to life and abundance.
What is the message you’ve been resisting? Will today be the the day you listen?