It sometimes seems that the world has gotten terribly cynical. It is so easy to fall into the trap of always seeing the worst possible side of a situation, assuming the worst intentions of others, believing the worst rumors are true. We may even believe that this world view is something that has only befallen us recently. Today's Gospel indicates otherwise. Jesus also had to deal with this attitude. "John came neither eating nor drinking, and they said, ‘He is possessed by a demon.’ The Son of Man came eating and drinking and they said, ‘Look, he is a glutton and a drunkard, a friend of tax collectors and sinners.’"
When we realize how many people did not appreciate the presence of Jesus as He was walking in their midst because of this attitude, I think it challenges us to examine our own approach to people and situations.Sometimes the most insidious evil is right there out in the open. In cynicism, the devil makes no attempt to hide. The attention that is given to that presence of evil is obvious to anyone who wants to see it. Just listen to comments that are made every day. Whether it be regarding family members, co-workers, neighbors, acquaintances, fellow parishioners or any other people we interact with, our conversations often revolve around what is wrong with them, rather than what is right. And what we say about politicians is often in the category of "not in front of the children!"
The issue is whether or not we will continue along this path. By word and action, the Lord showed us a different way. Seeing the good in everyone, assuming the best of intentions, not jumping to judgment (He who is the Ultimate Judge of all) and challenging those around Him to try and see the good in everyone was more His style. It certainly will not be easy, because the devil is so strong in the cynicism of the world. But if we believe God is Almighty, that He will win, then we should be hopeful that we can change our own world view. And if enough of us change our personal world view, eventually the world will change and see good (the presence of God) in every person and every situation. And that, my friends, is the vocation of every human being.