In view of the selfishness and self-absorption that pervades our culture, we hear these days about the “Me Generation.” One psychologist, however, refers to it as the “Don’t Blame Me Generation.” She writes, “it is based on a belief system like this: ‘I am more important than most people; I am good; therefore I am incapable of doing bad things.’” What we have, she concludes, is a generation of people who don’t think they need to change anything about themselves.
In today’s gospel, Jesus spoke about another generation of people who didn’t see their need for change. Through his very presence amongst them as the incarnate Son of God, this generation was presented with something far greater than the wisdom of Solomon and the preaching of Jonah. Yet still they didn’t change; they just didn’t see the need. Jesus might very well have directed his words to our “Don’t Blame Me Generation” of today. And indeed he does.
In contrast, the people of Nineveh, when they heard God’s word through Jonah, recognized their need for change. And when they repented in sackcloth and ashes, they learned that God never spurns a humble and contrite heart. You and I will experience this as well, whenever we embrace our need for change and repent. As we celebrated in today’s psalm, God has mercy on us in his goodness; in his compassion he wipes out our offenses; he washes us from our guilt; and cleanses us from our sins. So while “Don’t blame me” may be the cry of our generation, Jesus invites us to make “Have mercy on me” our cry of faith.
Readings for today’s Mass: http://www.usccb.org/nab/031611.shtml