Isaiah 48:17-19
Matthew 11:16-19


Complaining seems to be a part of life of many people. It expresses someone’s dissatisfaction about something or all things for someone else. This attitude is often seen in children, who are not satisfied with anything and constantly shout at others.

In Matthew’s Gospel, the account is recorded the same as in Luke’s Gospel (cf. 7:31-35) when Jesus wonders about the generation that he encounters after talking about John the Baptist. He compares them to the children shouting in the marketplace. What people can hear is complaining about why everything is going in contrary to expectation. They do not dance with happy music and do not mourn with dirge songs.

In fact, they complain that John does not eat or drink as a possessed person and that the Son of Man eats and drinks as a glutton and a drunkard. They even consider the Son of Man as a friend of tax collectors and sinners. In other words, they reject everyone who does not act according to their will or their perspective. They cannot appreciate the challenging message for them to change or to grow up.

Acknowledging the message for us from the reading today, we can ask ourselves if we are still children who keep complaining and never grow up. It can be acceptable when we want to be considered as children and keep rejecting any challenging messages. However, it will be better when we learn to appreciate the wisdom of God through God’s deeds and develop every day of our lives.

JD Tân T CP is a Vietnamese Passionist who lives and studies further at the Holy Cross Retreat, Templestowe.