Tuesday, September 17, 2013

Follow the Music

Wednesday of the Twenty-fourth Week in Ordinary Time
By Colleen O'Sullivan

Undeniably great is the mystery of devotion, Who was manifested in the flesh, vindicated in the spirit, seen by angels, proclaimed to the Gentiles, believed in throughout the world, taken up in glory.
(I Timothy 3:16)

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.”  (Luke 7:31-35)

Dance then, wherever you may be.
I am the Lord of the Dance, said He!
And I’ll lead you all, wherever you maybe
And I’ll lead you all in the Dance, said He!
(from “Lord of the Dance,” lyrics by Sydney Carter, 1915-2004)


When I was a pastor, as I was making hospital visits one afternoon, I asked a woman if she would like me to pray with her.  Her answer was a decisive no.  She said praying made her nervous.  I wished her well and left thinking how sad it was to see someone so afraid of or dismissive of anything to do withGod.  Yet I’m afraid God sees this in us all the time.

In today’s Gospel reading, Jesus expresses frustration about how difficult it is to touch our hearts.  His cousin was sent to prepare the way of the Lord.  John the Baptist spent his time preaching in the desert.  He dressed a little oddly and had a rather strange dietary regimen.  He wasn’t everyone’s cup of tea, so many blew him off, saying he was demon-possessed.   And then Jesus himself comes along, a much more sociable person than John.  He spends his time in the towns and villages, talking to people, healing their ills, and going to their homes for meals.  But is he any more accepted?  No, the disinterested label him a glutton and a drunk, and say he hangs out with sinners and outcastslowlifes with whom no oneshould associate.

I can see why some people don’t care to dance to any of the tunes God plays in our lives.  If we doour hearts have to be transformed.  We have to follow the Lord of the dance wherever he leads, and, if we’re honest with ourselves, some days the ways of the world and our lives as they are seem a whole lot more enticing.  When we cover our ears and refuse to sway to the divine melody, however, we miss out on that wondrous mystery, Christ our Savior, about whom Paul so eloquently writes in his letter to Timothy. A person could spend a lifetime fathoming the depths of the mystery of our salvation and never fully comprehend it, but to turn our backs on the song that leads us there is a tragedy.


What divine music have you danced to in your life?  What song is God singing that you are having trouble responding to?

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