Of course, the massive change has a lot to do with the globalised development of our world
If that is his historical and philosophical perception, it is also well attested to by the common conversation of people in everyday life. Have you or do you know of anyone else who has expressed their concerns over the state of the world. Where is it heading and can it survive?
I read this week that Branson of the Virgin group of companies, on learning of the drastic problem of climate change, declared, we are facing Armageddon. I also took time to watch the interviews of Vladimir Putin, the Russian President. In it he reminded the interviewer that both America and Russia each have some 7000 nuclear weapons ready to use.
If that is a brief picture of our world then it’s no wonder that people are confused and concerned about life in general.
Our world does have enormous challenges but it’s not the first society to face significant challenges. It’s interesting to note in today’s gospel that Jesus made not dissimilar observations of a very broken society of his own day. We have just read of the way he describes his society broken down in communication.
With poetic description, he paints a picture.
‘To what will I compare this generation?
It is like children sitting in the marketplace and calling to one another, “We played the flute for you, and you did not dance: we wailed and you did not mourn.’
It’s a simple example, highlighting the fundamental problem of their society. It had fragmented. People were only interested in their own lives. Communication had broken down. He proceeded to speak of the implications of a fragmenting society.
People build up opinions to justify their own stance. He tells us of how when John the Baptist came, because he neither drank or ate to excess, they called him a demon. On the other hand, when Jesus did join in with their drinking or eating they called him a glutton and drunkard.
Two contrary situations but both rejected because people didn’t want to accept what they had to say. You could say that people become so entrenched in their own lives that they do not want to have anything to do with others, and significantly they shape their thinking to justify their position.
THE SPIRITUAL CALL
The second part of our reading highlights Jesus deeper vision. If on the surface of life all can look so fragmented, the deeper reality is that unity is found in a deeper experience. In fact, it is grounded in God. But more specifically, Jesus says…
‘All things have been handed over to me by my father. No one knows the son except the father and no one knows the father except the son, and anyone whom the son determines.’
What is being described here is that unity in life is found in seeking to experience the Christ, in our communities, where one will encounter the divine. But to do so, one must be prepared to be open to the grander, Godly opportunities of life.
Perhaps the final verses of the passage reveal a guiding hand…
‘Come to me, all you that are weary and are carrying heavy burdens, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you, and learn from me; for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For my yoke is easy, and my burden is light.’
These beautiful well-loved verses, speak of an attitude. They speak of trusting another.
Trusting relationships, trusting that this path is the entry to the divine.
Probably all societies have known their fragmentation and failed patterns of communication. On one level creation is fragmented. It can be known in many ways, particularly relationships. But in a deeper way creation is a unity and for humans to live this unity it is found in the realm we speak of as the divine which both John the Baptist and Jesus called us to enter.
Far too often people close their minds to this eternal reality.