JUDGING BASED ON APPEARANCES
(Tuesday, June 27)
“But to what shall I liken this generation? It is like children sitting in the marketplaces and calling to their companions, and saying: ‘We played the flute for you, and you did not dance; We mourned to you, and you did not lament.’ For John came neither eating nor drinking, and they say, ‘He has a demon.’ The Son of Man came eating and drinking, and they say, ‘Look, a glutton and a wine-drinker, a friend of tax collectors and sinners!’ But wisdom is justified by her children.” (Mt 11:16-19)
Today’s Gospel-reading is about focusing on personalities rather than principles; on *who* is saying something rather than on *what* they are saying. We do it all the time, because we tend to presume we have people figured out, on the basis of how they look or act in public and who their “friends” are. We do this also because we are so self-absorbed, in our own ways of thinking and judging, that we neither “dance” when others “play the flute” for us, nor do we “lament” when they “mourn” to us. Thus we miss opportunities to learn from *others*; to expand our hearts and minds to relate to their pain and their strengths; to gain new wisdom from the unexpected places and people that God sends our way.
“But wisdom is justified by her children,” says the Lord at the end of this passage. This means that there were, back then and also now, many who did and do respond to the wisdom of John and of Christ, becoming “children” of wisdom. Let me not remain just a “child” today, but allow myself to become “a child of wisdom,” keeping my eyes and ears open to learning from *others*, rather than immediately judging them, according to what I think I know about them. (PS the picture here is from a music festival here in Vienna this past Sunday)