Have you ever been in a situation when it seemed no matter what you said or did, it was not going to be accepted or approved by at least a good number of people? And isn’t it true, those people tend to be the most vocal? In my years as a high school principal, that seemed to happen more frequently than I liked. We all run into these situations and they are difficult to navigate.
This seems to be the case in today’s gospel from Luke. Jesus is expressing frustration that many think of John as possessed because of his ascetic lifestyle, while they think of Jesus as a glutton and drunkard because he does not practice the asceticism of John and because he reaches out to tax collectors and sinners.
Two simple thoughts come to my mind. First, it is not wrong or unreasonable to express frustration and disappointment in such situations. Second, always be true to God’s call, just as Jesus was. But how can we be sure we are being true to God’s call? If we can answer one simple question affirmatively, I think we can be confident we are true to God’s call. The question is, ”What does love require?”
—David McNulty is the Provincial Assistant for Advancement, Chicago-Detroit Province Jesuits