Friday, December 9, 2016
Friday, 2nd Week of Advent, 2016
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.’
We've all run into people (and, perhaps, at times have been people) who seem to live by the motto: "My mind is made up, don't confuse me with the facts." The lack of civil discourse during and the contentious discord following the recent presidential election may have roots in such at attitude.
Jesus recognized this attitude in the religious leaders of his time. They were convinced that their view of religion was the correct one, and so they were able to write off the lifestyle and preaching of John the Baptist as the rantings of a religious lunatic. When Jesus arrived with a more moderate lifestyle, he was written off as a glutton and drunkard. Their minds were made up. No wonder that Jesus would chide them for being stiff-necked and hard of heart.
Going back to the Peace Prayer of St. Francis, we pray that we "may not so much seek to be understood as to understand." One project we could undertake today is to listen with open minds to the voices of the people we encounter. We ought not compromise the truth as we see it, but let's be open to the possibility that we may be wrong. Or, as one bumper sticker warns: "Don't believe everything you think."
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