“Wisdom is vindicated by her works.” (Mt. 11:19)
Today’s Gospel reminds us of the difficult reality of the world we live in. No matter what we do or say, we cannot make everyone happy. One look at politics in America is enough to demonstrate this. It seems that no matter what one political party does, it is never enough (or it is too much!) for the likings of the other party. Jesus really drives this point home when he says that John was called possessed by a demon for his meager diet and hermit ways, while Jesus himself is called a drunkard and glutton because he eats and drinks at the table of sinners.
Sometimes I have to remind myself of this reality. Even Jesus, Son of God and Lord of the universe did not make everyone happy all the time. In fact, some of the things he did made a lot of people really upset most of the time! As Christians, we are called to serve our brothers and sisters and to strive to lead all souls to heaven, but sometimes there are those people in our lives that we cannot seem to make happy, no matter what we do. How do we deal with these frustrating moments where we are called to love, but to what seems to be no effect?
We get our answer in the first reading today from Isaiah. “I, the LORD, your God, teach you what is for your good, and lead you on the way you should go” (Is. 48:17). Jesus teaches us how to live rightly, even when that right living upsets and even angers those around us. There are some things we do and believe as Christians that unfortunately will always make certain people upset. Jesus knew this, and rather than trying to bend away from what was right, he preached and lived the Father’s will, and through his infinite love, converted sinners to his heart. It can be the same for us today. When we see people that are seemingly never satisfied with Christianity, do we sacrifice our Christian life for their “happiness”? Or, do we instead love them all the more and try to bring them to Jesus?