Friday of the Second Week of Advent
Isaiah 48:17-19 + Matthew 11:16-19
December 15, 2017
“But wisdom is vindicated by her works.”
Jesus criticizes the “crowds” for their lack of consistency. The crowds criticize Jesus and John the Baptist for opposite reasons. In other words, there is no pleasing the crowds. If Calvary didn’t prove that Jesus is no populist, His words at the end of today’s Gospel passage do.
Jesus came into this world for these very crowds, of course. But as St. John says in the prologue to his Gospel account, “His own people received Him not” [John 1:11]. His last sentence in today’s Gospel passage, though, puts His advent into a helpful perspective.
“Wisdom is vindicated by her works.” Although Jesus uses a personal pronoun in reference to “wisdom”, and although the Wisdom Literature of the Old Testament does at times personify “wisdom” in feminine terms, we must be careful about what Jesus does and does not say here. What we should read here is a contrast between the ways of the “crowds” and the world in which they live, and the ways of God in His heavens.
Jesus did not come into this world to be popular with the crowds, but to be faithful to His Father’s will. Jesus’ Resurrection is the vindication of the Father’s divine wisdom in sending His only-begotten Son into the world to die for the very sinners who crucified Him.