Memorial of St. Lucy, virgin and martyr
(Isaiah 48:17-19; Matthew 11:16-19)
In Matthew’s gospel John the Baptist and Jesus preach using the very same words. They both tell the people, “’Repent, for the kingdom of heaven is at hand.’” Nevertheless, they are different kinds of people. As today’s gospel states, John has a very ascetic life. He lives in the desert and eats locusts. Meanwhile, Jesus stays around people. He enjoys a full meal and a cup of wine in the company of others.
Rather than heed their common message, the people reject it outright. They say that they do so because John is possessed (i.e., crazy) and Jesus is a drunkard. But these are just excuses. The people do not want to repent. They are comfortable enough living as they do. Unfortunately, they do not realize what they will be are missing with the loss of the kingdom.
We must not make the same mistake. Even if we go to church every day, there are still plenty reforms to make. We may have a temper that can go out of control or a tendency to understate the truth. We may be given to gossip or even to pornography. We need to take to heart that something wonderful is coming our way. Let’s make the reforms necessary to take full advantage of it.