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The good news for the day December 9, 2016

Friday of the Second Week in Advent (185)

Jesus says publicly: “To what shall I compare people who have chosen not to change, this stuck generation? They’re like kids sitting in a playground who yell to one another, ‘When we played some music for you, but you did not dance, we sang a sad song but you did not pretend to cry.’ The point is: When John came fasting and not drinking, people criticized him, ‘He has been taken over by a demon.’ Then when This Person came not concerned with eating and drinking, people criticized Him: ‘Hey, he is a glutton and a drunk, a friend of crooked financiers and publicly bad people.’ Ah! wisdom is proven in what actually happens.” (Matthew 11)

Jesus likes comparisons. The complaint here is one directed at all of us—a reminder that sometimes the truth is not WHAT we see, but HOW we see with our prejudices. John, the baptizer, lived an ascetic life—Jesus partied. John preached to get people to change their lives—Jesus accepted sinners known as “bad people.’” John was reputed to be passionate and rugged—Jesus was reputed to be easy-going. John preached—Jesus taught.

The wise person—“wisdom”—appreciates that so much judgment of others is prejudice, pure and simple. You and I like to feel and act superior; we are unconsciously judging others as wrong and inferior.  The point is: each person has a core, “me.”—how you appear to others is a virtual reality, a façade, a hologram. What you are, in the end, is what you do, consciously and unconsciously—service, or superiority? Healing or hate? Forgiveness or rejection? Kindness or curtness? “My way or the highway”?

Your readiness to see everyone around you as Jesus, as your equal brother or sister under one Father—marks you as a follower of Jesus. That spirit means you are no bully-child controlling others. You are not “of this generation”—but born now into the realm of authentic humility, caring service, relentless thanksgiving—growing in faith and so on. You stand ready to see Jesus come in the next person you meet. That is the readiness of Advent, the meaning of expectation, the nearness of the Kingdom

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