Nobody Likes me,
Executed by iHeart,
Street Art, sprayed paint on wall,
Spayed in 2017 at Stanley Park, Vancouver, Canada
© iHeart urban artist
They are like children shouting
Jesus said to the people:
‘What description can I find for the men of this generation? What are they like? They are like children shouting to one another while they sit in the market-place:
‘“We played the pipes for you, and you wouldn’t dance;
we sang dirges, and you wouldn’t cry.”
‘For John the Baptist comes, not eating bread, not drinking wine, and you say, “He is possessed.” The Son of Man comes, eating and drinking, and you say, “Look, a glutton and a drunkard, a friend of tax collectors and sinners.” Yet Wisdom has been proved right by all her children.’
Reflection on the Street Artwork
Jesus in today's Gospel reading is trying to shake us up! Jesus is telling us to grow up! He must have seen childishness in how some of the adults around him behaved. Children tend to be impulsive and act out of their feelings instantly. Jesus saw that adults, too, can have simplistic expectations and readily make superficial judgements. He is inviting us to see beyond the surface and to go deeper in our assessments and in our prayers.
Reading this Gospel reading made me think of how in our social media age, so many of the social comments on Facebook, Twitter etc are like 'the children shouting in the marketplace’ that Jesus is referring to: momentary and often shallow engagement. Social media is of course a fantastic tool, allowing us to communicate with great speed and efficiency, facilitating communication between people. It can also educate us, inform us, teach us things, enable us to discover new ideas and to be more socially aware, etc… Like everything else, social media can be used for both good and bad. Apart from the obvious negative aspects of social media that often get reported on in the press (bullying, addiction, scams, cheating, etc…), Jesus is asking us to take the time we need to let the surface chatter go, be kind to each other and ultimately to listen for God… yes, also when we are on social media.
Not much is known about iHeart, a Vancouver street artist whose work we are looking at today. He describes himself as “just a boy with ideas, opinions and a whole lot of aerosol”. This image got a major boost from Banksy, after he posted photos of this work on his Facebook page. It was a social media post about a work that was criticising what social media is doing to us. our street artwork captures the essence of the dangers of social media. We see a young boy getting no likes or comments on what he has posted, and it is making him deeply sad, to the point of shouting out his frustrations. Indeed sometimes we are like 'children shouting', when we loose the bigger picture of life.
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