Readings for Friday December 9, 2009
First Reading: Isaiah 48:17-19
Responsorial Psalm: Psalm 1
Gospel: Matthew 11:16-19
Jesus said to the crowds: “To what shall I compare this generation? It is like children who sit in marketplaces and call to one another, ‘We played the flute for you, but you did not dance, we sang a dirge but you did not mourn.’ 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.’ But wisdom is vindicated by her works.” (Mt 11:16-19)
Have you ever noticed how much we are into labeling things? And I am not talking about your grocery store items. I am talking about how much we label people based on their actions or beliefs; and it seems that once there is a label, it can be hard to shake once it's there. How many times have we heard someone talking about big government or universal healthcare and immediately label that person a liberal? Christians who spread the word are often labeled as "Jesus freaks" or zealots. A kid at school who doesn't have the latest and most popular shoe may be labeled as poor. People who decide to practice chastity before marriage are thought of as prudes.
It seems as though labeling was also popular in Jesus' day as well. We read in the gospel today that John the Baptist was labeled as possessed, and Jesus was labeled as a glutton and a drunkard. What we must remember is that we should not be concerned what the world labels us, but rather what God labels us. Would you rather have a high profile and prestigious label while here on earth, or a place in heaven? If we are trying to define ourselves and make a place for ourselves while here on earth, then that is a road that doesn't not lead to heaven. Rather if our first priority is doing God's will and trying to reach heaven, then that is a road that leads to the glorious reward.
We must remember that earthly labels come and go, and it is not what other people know us as, but our biggest concern should be how God labels us. If we do not have the label of God's good and faithful servants, then we are not doing the things that we should be.
Do not let the world define you, but rather let God make you into the person that you were created to be.
Father above, we thank you and praise you for the gift of this day. Lord, thank you for all that you have given and all that you do. You are so good to us, and all that we have comes from you. Help us not to take this life for granted and may we always be seeking your will. Lord, we all need your help, we want to be with you in heaven, but we cannot make it there without you. Help us to persevere in this life until our time is done. We ask this all through Christ our Lord. Amen.