Second Friday of Advent
PS 1:1-2, 3, 4 AND 6
MT 11: 16-19
Today ‘s Gospel should be relatable for any social human being. Here Jesus clearly exemplifies the judgmental nature of mankind and their many opinions. He compares the two reactions of the people towards John the Baptist and Himself. He says, “For John came neither eating nor drinking, and they [the people] said, ‘He is possessed by a demon.’” And then He says, “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.’”
John and Jesus “just can’t win.” One refuses to eat and drink, and the people respond negatively. The other eats and drinks, and the people still respond negatively. This sounds much like the experiences of the social world today. People are full of opinions, and though this is not necessarily a bad thing, there will always be someone who has an opinion different from your own. (i.e.“Haters gonna hate.” Right?)
So what can we do? And how does this apply to the Advent season? We must first begin by accepting the reality that we cannot please everyone. No matter how hard we try, we will make decisions in our lives that others may not approve of. At first this seems like a negative thought, but now think of Mary, the Virgin Mother. Mary decided to bear the Son of God. She said, “Yes.” despite what others would think about her (i.e. that she was a young, unwed mother who cheated on her fiancé). And her decision changed the course of the universe.
So we must remember: as long as we are making decisions with and for God, we need not get distracted by negativity. This advent season, it is important to free ourselves from the social world of opinions, and focus on the coming of Jesus Christ. Don’t get distracted by debates about a red coffee cup or the next presidential candidate. Remember everyone is entitled to his or her opinions, accept your differences, and love on. This advent, make the conscious decision with Mary to ignore the negative opinions of others, and focus on preparing yourself for the coming of the King of the Universe.
Parker Davis is a junior majoring in Theological Studies and Communications.