Fr Paul reads today from the Gospel of Matthew (11: 16-19), in which Jesus says ‘wisdom is proved right by her actions’.

In today’s Gospel, Fr Paul says, we see one of the stark contrasts that Matthew loves to use.  Usually that contrast is between good and bad but this time it is between the austere behaviour of John the Baptist and the friendly, outgoing behaviour of Jesus.

No matter what way you look at it, the messenger of the kingdom the people just refused to join in, those hearing the message of Jesus want the opposite to anything he says.  We find this in the words of the Gospel: if we play sad songs you won’t mourn; if we play happy songs you won’t dance.  John simply doesn’t eat enough; Jesus eats and drinks too much in the wrong company. It seems the people in today’s Gospel are deliberately refusing to understand the message being given to them.

Mindful of this as we continue our Advent journey, Fr Paul says we might ask ourselves, ‘when have I been deliberately difficult in my behaviour? When have I deliberately refused to listen?’