There is an old saying that goes something like this: “You can please some of the people some of the time, but never all of the people all of the time.” Whether or not this is theoretically true or false, it seems to be true from a practical point of view. If you doubt this, then think of the last time you have seen an example of ‘all of the people being satisfied with a given state of affairs.’ This happens, if ever, only in very few circumstances and usually with a very small number of people. By contrast, it is not difficult to remember the last time we heard somebody complain to us about one thing or another!

Jesus’ life is an example of all of this. If there ever was going to be someone who could prove the rule wrong, then it was going to be the Son of God! But, as we can see quite clearly from today’s Gospel, not even He managed to achieve pleasing all of the people all of the time. As long as there is someone who does not agree with you on a particular issue, they are sure to find a way to complain about something that you have done.

It is interesting to look at god’s response to sin. We must begin by affirming that God is in no way responsible for the sins that we commit. Yes, He chastises us for sinning but He does not complain to us about the effects of sin. He sets about doing something to remedy the situation. Perhaps we ought to learn something from all of this! Instead of complaining about all the suffering and injustice that is in the world, perhaps we should begin doing something about it! No, one person may not be able to change an attitude or wrong that has affected a society, each of us can certainly be a beacon of hope, truth and moral living for a world that sees these qualities growing scarcer and scarcer by the day.

It is to judge and complain about the doings of others, but this will rarely set things right. It is much better to do that which we can do in trying banish suffering and injustice.

What is it that I can do in order to bring a little bit of hope and love into the world? I may not be able to change the world, but I certainly can influence the small portion of the world where I live.

Holy Spirit, help me to walk in the way of truth and justice so that my life will be a good witness to the love that God has for each and every person.