A reading from the holy Gospel according to Luke 7:31-35
Jesus said to the crowds: "To what shall I compare the people of this generation? What are they like? They are like children who sit in the marketplace and call to one another, 'We played the flute for you, but you did not dance. We sang a dirge, but you did not weep.' For John the Baptist came neither eating food nor drinking wine, and you said, 'He is possessed by a demon.' The Son of Man came eating and drinking and you said, 'Look, he is a glutton and a drunkard, a friend of tax collectors and sinners.' But wisdom is vindicated by all her children."
REFLECTION: 'We played the flute for you, but you did not dance.'
Have you ever watched children playing? The energy is amazing and they need that energy because they are growing quickly and becoming more active. They need special nutrition, enough fat and protein with vitamins and minerals so that they may not tire. Youngsters have higher energy levels than professional athletes (scientifically proven). Ask any adult who is the caregiver of a child!!
The kingdom of God is like children in the marketplace. We start off with so much energy, wanting to know everything and experiencing as much as we can. We invite others to join in our joy and hope and wish to share the Holy Spirit with them. And as we go out and spread the word of God we can be met with indifference, lack of support, disdain, mockery, or unkind words and "hand signs". 'We played the flute for you, but you did not dance.'
We search for kindred spirits but may meet people who are inflexible, not wanting to hear about God, nor accept Him. They can be full of pride but can also be arrogant, refusing to hear. I have approached many people outside of my religion regarding PAPA and most of the time I am met with indifference. In my own family I am met with disinterest and a smile. But it is exactly the perseverance that we look for when we see the tireless children refusing to stop playing. Our energy is in doing God's work and in proclaiming the good news of Redemption and Salvation in praying for priests.
This month we pray for zeal for the priests. Imagine, a man chosen by God to continue with his salvific plan. A man who devotes his whole life looking away from the world for the sole purpose of being a continuation of Christ Himself, the living and transparent image of Christ. Priests need our prayers because they are very much human, with wants, likes and temperaments. They, too, might go out to change and convert souls in their parish or their mission retreats and they may be met with criticism, lack of faith, laziness and the desire for the status quo.
We, the PAPA Family, promised to pray for priests and to love Jesus more. We promised to pray with our Lord about others and their needs. Just these past few weeks, our Family has been praying for some of our members, each other and our loved ones. "Where two or more are gathered together in the name of Jesus there will Jesus be in the midst." (Matthew 18:20). When we pray together, we are always with Jesus.
So as the children playing the flute, may we persevere and persist in our call to dance with PAPA.