The Tree of Wisdom

December 9, 2016
Friday of the Second Week in Advent
The Gospel Today
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.”

REFLECTION (Sem. Eldrick S. Peña)

In the Gospel, Jesus is being accused of the people because of the things that he does. He was called a glutton and a drunkard, and judged because of his association with sinners and tax collectors. But Jesus said “But wisdom is vindicated by her works.”

Reflecting upon the passage, I realized that it has semblance to the passage, “you will know a good tree by its fruit.”

Sometimes, in our effort to help others and to make a difference in others’ lives, we are misinterpreted, judged and labelled negatively – all the hurtful words, name it and some people are very quick in their labelling and judgment. But, as Jesus said “wisdom is vindicated by her works.”

A person who has been maligned because of his effort to help others’ vindication will be seen in the fruit of the work that he is doing. In the Scriptures, Jesus would dine with sinners and tax collectors in order to convert them, to move them towards a change of heart – and that was the fruit of the work he did (dining and drinking with sinners).

What then is the invitation to us in today’s readings? We should not be engrossed and affected with others’ interpretation of the good work that we are doing. If we are very sure that what we are doing is what is good and what is pleasing to the eyes of the Lord, let those people around us feast on interpreting our actions and labelling us all sorts of names. We need not vindicate ourselves from them. We are vindicated with the peace that we have with the Lord having fulfilled His holy Will in our life. Wisdom is vindicated by her works – you will know a good tree by its fruits. AMEN.

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