Daily Devotion

CARAVAGGIO (Michelangelo Merisi)_Santa Catalina de Alejandría, c. 1598_81 (1934.37)

Text for the Reflection

Matthew 11:16-19

But to what will I compare this generation? It is like children sitting in the market-places and calling to one another, “We played the flute for you, and you did not dance; we wailed, and you did not mourn.” For John came neither eating nor drinking, and they say, “He has a demon”; the Son of Man came eating and drinking, and they say, “Look, a glutton and a drunkard, a friend of tax-collectors and sinners!” Yet wisdom is vindicated by her deeds.’


Catherine was martyred in the early fourth century at the hands of the emperor Maxentius. She was both a princess and a noted scholar who became a Christian around the age of 14, converted hundreds of people to Christianity, and was martyred around the age of eighteen. Isaac Watts was an English Congregational minister, hymn writer, theologian, and logician. He was a prolific and popular hymn writer and is credited with some 750 hymns. His works include “When I Survey the Wondrous Cross”, “Joy to the World”, and “Our God, Our Help in Ages Past”. In today´s text, the term; this generation refers to the particular generation of Jews living during Christ’s and John’s ministries. In his teaching, He gives a short parable of a marketplace and children playing in the market. As we know, marketplaces are public venues. These are places of business transactions where people mix and mingle as well and are characterized by high-traffic areas, musicians would play their songs as people went about their business. In Jesus’s parable, children are these musicians. And they played the flute but in neither song did their fellow children respond properly. Others did not dance at all. They did not even mourn when a funeral song was sung. They were unmoved in both instances, and the players point out the inappropriate non-response to those they played for. What is Jesus saying in this parable? Just like a funeral song, John came living in the wilderness in rough clothing and a strange diet neither eating nor drinking, and they dismiss him and his message saying, ‘He has a demon!’ Instead of repenting, they rejected John’s message. Finally, when Jesus came eating and drinking with marginalized tax collectors and other sinners who associated with Gentiles, they rejected Him because of these perceived social vices. They accused Jesus of being a gluttonous man and a drunkard. In the end, they rejected God and the kingdom they claimed to seek because He did not fit into their messianic expectations.

Let Us Pray

God the Father, help us to hear the call of Christ the King and to follow in his service,

whose kingdom has no end; for he reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, one

 glory. Amen

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