Saint John of the Cross, Priest and Doctor of the Church (Memorial)
We played the flute for you, but you did not dance. (Matthew 11:17)
When Jesus came announcing the kingdom, many people complained about his habit of socializing with tax collectors and sinners. But as far as Jesus was concerned, these people were missing their opportunity to join in the dance of the good news. He preached a message of God’s love and mercy, but they didn’t want to hear it.
Jesus didn’t let their rejection get the best of him. According to him, “Wisdom is vindicated by her works” (Matthew 11:19). The miracles he performed, the healings and the casting out of demons, the sermons and parables—all of these combined to testify to the truth of his message. Seeing the sick healed, the dead raised, and the poor receiving the good news, his detractors should have seen that God was doing something new and important in Jesus. They should have seen all of these as signs of how good and generous God is, and that he was welcoming everyone to come to him.
The miracles didn’t stop with Jesus. They continue even today. Every day, people are surprised by signs of God’s love and faithfulness. Years of built-up bitterness have dissipated, and the way to reconciliation has opened—because people are looking for God. Chains of addiction and substance abuse are being loosed, and the road to recovery is being started—because people are seeing the Lord’s help.
Wisdom has even more works and miracles in store for us! Just as Jesus wanted a deeper connection with the people of his day, he longs for a closer relationship with us. Every time we pray, we have the opportunity to touch the hem of Jesus’ garment and experience his presence in our hearts. Every time we reach out to someone who is hurting, we have the opportunity to vindicate Jesus’ words by our acts of love and kindness. We can make a difference for them because we are letting God make a difference in us. And if we don’t feel much in prayer on a given day, we can always let God’s past work in our lives vindicate the wisdom of our persevering.
Jesus is calling you, so get up and join him in the dance!
“Lord, I cannot deny all you have done in my life and in the world. Help me to join all the saints in celebrating your kingdom today.”
Psalm 1:1-4, 6
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