Collect for the Week
without you we are not able to please you:
mercifully grant that your Holy Spirit
may in all things direct and rule our hearts;
through Jesus Christ our Lord.
Amen APBA p.581
GOSPEL for the Day: Luke 7: 31-35
‘To what then will I compare the people of this generation, and what are they like? They are like children sitting in the market-place and calling to one another,
“We played the flute for you, and you did not dance; we wailed, and you did not weep.”
For John the Baptist has come eating no bread and drinking no wine, and you say, “He has a demon”; the Son of Man has come eating and drinking, and you say, “Look, a glutton and a drunkard, a friend of tax-collectors and sinners!” Nevertheless, wisdom is vindicated by all her children.’
GOSPEL Reflection : Contributed by Alison Dorman
‘Nevertheless, wisdom is vindicated by all her children’ Earlier in this passage and previous chapter, we read about various people Jesus had healed – clear evidence of the authority and compassion of Jesus. Previously, Jesus had appealed to his followers not to judge others and to live by what we now know as the beatitudes (Luke 6: 20-26).
Now he is confronted with questions and doubts about who he is and the place of John the Baptist in preparing the way for his ministry. Jesus clearly showed by his life and fruits of his ministry who he was and what he had come to Earth to be and do. He was judged by others for ‘outward appearances’ which didn’t match the expectations of the time. We so often ‘judge a book by its cover’ without looking deeper at the fruit?
I love the words of the poem attributed to Kent M. Keith in the ‘Paradoxical Commandments’. An abridged version is said to have hung on the walls of Mother Theresa’s room in the Children’s home in Calcutta, as her guide to life. It could sum up what Jesus is trying to tell us:
People are illogical, unreasonable, and self-centered.
Love them anyway.
If you do good, people will accuse you of selfish ulterior motives.
Do good anyway.
If you are successful, you will win false friends and true enemies.
The good you do today will be forgotten tomorrow.
Do good anyway.
Honesty and frankness make you vulnerable.
Be honest and frank anyway.
The biggest men and women with the biggest ideas can be shot down by the smallest men and women with the smallest minds.
Think big anyway.
People favor underdogs but follow only top dogs.
Fight for a few underdogs anyway.
What you spend years building may be destroyed overnight.
People really need help but may attack you if you do help them.
Help people anyway.
Give the world the best you have and you’ll get kicked in the teeth.
Give the world the best you have anyway.
© Copyright Kent M. Keith 1968, renewed 2001