A reading from the gospel according to Matthew 11:16-19
Jesus said to the crowds:
16 “To what shall I compare this generation? It is like children who sit in marketplaces and call to one another,
17 ‘We played the flute for you, but you did not dance, we sang a dirge but you did not mourn.’
18 For John came neither eating nor drinking, and they said, ‘He is possessed by a demon.’
19 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.”
Reflection: The Wisdom of Being Good
In the gospel reading above, Jesus poured out His frustration with people such as the Pharisees and scribes who were critical of Him and John the Baptist. Although both of them lived their lives differently, the Pharisees and other religious authorities did not accept or listen to them.
As in the time of Jesus, the people in our age have different demands and responses to situations. They have different and sometimes opposing criteria in judging things and situations such that we can never please everybody. No matter what we do, people will always criticize us. Damn if you do, damn if you don’t. Some people are really childish. They have lots of unreasonable demands from others but which they themselves are incapable of doing.
Let us examine ourselves. Perhaps, we are those kinds of people. We too are judgmental. We have our own prejudices and biases. Many times we focus on tiny faults of others and we overlook their good nature.
Let us be reminded of the golden rule. If we don’t like people to criticize us, then let us stop being critical of them. Instead, let us develop the habit of understanding their situation and continually engaging with them in a positive manner. Thus, even when people judge us unfairly, we know better than to get mad at them. That means we are not affected so much by people’s reactions. If we continue to do good, time will come when we get vindicated. That is the wisdom of being good.
Like the moon and the stars, let us continue to shine even if there are dark clouds before us.