_“O that you had paid attention to my commandments! Then your prosperity would have been like a river, and your success like the waves of the sea.” (Isaiah 48:18)
There is a saying that you would always have an excuse for not doing what you never wanted to do in the first place. Think of it this way, if you really want to do something, you wouldn’t find any justifiable excuse for not doing it and if you catch yourself piling up excuses, it is because that particular activity is not important to you or do not believe there is anything to gain from it.
One most common excuses for not keeping the commandments of God is that they are too difficult. Now, let us honestly ask ourselves: Is there really anything that is easy in this life? Why is it that when it comes to the things of God, we want the easy way out? Consider the hours, months, and even years of painstaking sacrifice we put in just to acquire certain basic life skills such as walking, speaking, driving, cooking, etc. How come we never gave up?
In today’s first reading, God addresses the nation of Israel: “if only you had paid attention to my commandments, your prosperity would have been like a river?” Do I sincerely believe there are immediate benefits to gain from keeping God’s commandments? If yes, why do I keep disobeying these very commandments in the name of searching for prosperity?
Why do I have loads of excuses for God when He has provided a shortcut for me to achieve all my desires? Jesus himself said: “seek first the Kingdom of God and his righteousness and all these things will be given to you” (Matthew 6:33). Do you believe this? Why not give God a try today?
In today’s Gospel passage, Jesus compares his audience to the children in a marketplace. The truth is that we are not too different from the people Jesus was referring to. We do not exactly know what we want. John the Baptist came, neither eating nor drinking, and he was heavily criticised. Jesus freely ate and drank yet He too wasn’t spared of their harsh criticism.
It is not about what people think. Do what is right. Seek to please God. As for human praise or admiration, forget it. People must talk; there is nothing you can ever do to satisfy them. Trust God, and obey His commandments. This is the only recipe of happiness.
Let us pray: Heavenly Father, deepen my trust in keeping your commandments. Through Christ our Lord. Amen.
Bible Study: Isaiah 48:17-19, Ps. 1:1-4,6, Matthew 11:16-19)*
© Rev. Fr. Evaristus Abu