July 5, 2020, Matthew 11:7-19 – ISSL Reflections

This week we turn to the Gospel of Matthew for our reflections, still thinking about Wisdom. Notice the closing of this week’s reading –

“Yet wisdom is vindicated by her deeds.”
    (Matthew 11:19)

Our passage begins with, “As they went away … “ Let’s take a moment and notice what they went away from –

Now when Jesus had finished instructing his twelve disciples, he went on from there to teach and proclaim his message in their cities.

When John heard in prison what the Messiah was doing, he sent word by his disciples and said to him, “Are you the one who is to come, or are we to wait for another?” Jesus answered them, “Go and tell John what you hear and see: the blind receive their sight, the lame walk, the lepers are cleansed, the deaf hear, the dead are raised, and the poor have good news brought to them. And blessed is anyone who takes no offense at me.”
    (Matthew 11:1 – 6)

With those two bits of information in our minds, let’s read the passage with our full attention and notice how Jesus is responding to these folk –

Matthew 11:7-19 (New Revised Standard Version)

As they went away, Jesus began to speak to the crowds about John: “What did you go out into the wilderness to look at? A reed shaken by the wind? What then did you go out to see? Someone dressed in soft robes? Look, those who wear soft robes are in royal palaces. What then did you go out to see? A prophet? Yes, I tell you, and more than a prophet. This is the one about whom it is written,

‘See, I am sending my messenger ahead of you,
who will prepare your way before you.’

Truly I tell you, among those born of women no one has arisen greater than John the Baptist; yet the least in the kingdom of heaven is greater than he. From the days of John the Baptist until now the kingdom of heaven has suffered violence, and the violent take it by force. For all the prophets and the law prophesied until John came; and if you are willing to accept it, he is Elijah who is to come. Let anyone with ears listen!

“But to what will I compare this generation? It is like children sitting in the marketplaces and calling to one another,

‘We played the flute for you, and you did not dance;
we wailed, and you did not mourn.’

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 drunkard, a friend of tax collectors and sinners!’ Yet wisdom is vindicated by her deeds.”

Who do you notice Jesus is addressing? The Prophet John? John’s disciples? Jesus’ disciples? The crowds?

If you were present that day, where might you have been found? With the Baptizier’s group? WIth Jesus’ followers? In the crowd of onlookers? What were you there for? What brought you to that time and place? What were you looking for?

As Jesus speaks to all those present who or what does he speak about?

John the prophet, the seekers in the wilderness, John’s disciples, the law and the prophets, the Holy writings of the people who thought of themselves as “faithful,” the Son of Man, Jesus’ own mission and associations, the people of that generation and culture, children playing games with one another, people who want to get their hands on all they can, drunks, civil servants, turncoats-quislings-traitors, sinners?

On a good day which group might you find yourself with? On a less than good day? On a really bad day?

How might “Wisdom” be “vindicated by her deeds” to each? To you?

All the above might be too much to start off with, but then again, maybe we should have a lot to think over. We’ll talk again later.

{ubi caritas et amor, deus ibi est}

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