Nobody Likes me,
Executed by iHeart,
Street Art, sprayed paint on wall,
Spayed in 2017 at Stanley Park, Vancouver, Canada
© iHeart urban artist

Nobody Likes me,
Executed by iHeart,
Street Art, sprayed paint on wall,
Spayed in 2017 at Stanley Park, Vancouver, Canada
© iHeart urban artist

Gospel of 20 September 2023

They are like children shouting

Luke 7:31-35

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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Rya Lucas
Member
Rya Lucas(@katteliekemeissie)
5 months ago

I am glad it is a screaming BOY, although girls are able to do the same … LOL. The screaming minority – the silent majority of which people say: ‘They have no opinion, they are meaningless’. Wait till the silent majority revolts against the minority… then we’ll have something!

APP.jpg
Elizabeth Hampton
Member
Elizabeth Hampton(@elizabeth-hampton)
5 months ago

Me again…the line at the end of the second verse should read ‘ill fame’ but the technology doesn’t seem to recognise the word ill and changes it to I’ll. That’s quite enough from me! Confused…you will be! 😉

Zeffi
Member
Zeffi(@zeffi)
5 months ago

😀 Yes, I get random inserts from Autocorrect (which I’ve renamed Autoerror). Mine favours “we’re” over “were”. I now write my thoughts in the notes section of my iPad and copy them into here when I’ve proofread them (still some errors creep through though!)

Noelle Clemens
Member
Noelle Clemens(@jeanne)
5 months ago
Reply to  Zeffi

Good idea; and if you take too much time over a post, you lose it.

Elizabeth Hampton
Member
Elizabeth Hampton(@elizabeth-hampton)
5 months ago

Today’s artwork was a powerful reminder to me of a very dark time in our family life when my son was seriously assaulted and suffered many years of severe trauma/mental health and was almost lost to us for a while but God and we watched over him and he came through. Whilst he was suffering so much, I wrote the following poem inspired by our dear Parish Priest’s homily on the subject of noise in our lives created by our ‘thought police’ media – including social media – which often interferes with our ability to hear God’s message for us. May I share it with you?

Networking

He said:
I hate the silence before sleep –
I’d rather fill my head with voices
They at least would keep at bay
The clamour of the darkness
Twisting threads of memory

He said
The people who are clever with noise
Dictate our waking and our sleeping frame
The tortured mind within it struggles to cope
Assailed at every turn
By awful spectres of I’ll fame

She said
Turn your back on those twin spies
Switch on the Light
Cast out those lies which threaten your existence
Find true peace within yourself
It’s hidden in the silence

Nik
Member
Nik(@nik)
5 months ago

Dank u wel voor het delen van uw gedicht en voor uw getuigenis. Getuigt van sterkte en geloof.

Elizabeth Hampton
Member
Elizabeth Hampton(@elizabeth-hampton)
5 months ago
Reply to  Nik

Dank U Nik!

marleen de vlieghere
Member
marleen de vlieghere(@marleen)
5 months ago

so beautiful! thank you!

Elizabeth Hampton
Member
Elizabeth Hampton(@elizabeth-hampton)
5 months ago

Thank you Marleen – my son was in such mental anguish as well as physical pain that he didn’t want to go on. My response is in the final verse as that was my only comfort at the time and I tried to convey it to him through poetry.

marleen de vlieghere
Member
marleen de vlieghere(@marleen)
5 months ago

I can imagine your pain, Elisabeth. My sister went trough the same kind of suffering with her son. I continue praying for her, and now for you too.

Chazbo M
Member
Chazbo M(@chazbo)
5 months ago

Wow that’s quite something and I won’t diminish what you have experienced by saying I can understand but I have one story to share. When I was in Lourdes a few yaers ago on a joint pilgrimage there was a youngish chap who was severely disabled. He had been a fit man when he went to the rescue of a stranger in the street who was being attacked by three heavies. They beat him very severely and caused great mental and physical damage to the degree that he could no longer look after himself and was wheelchair bound. I’ve never forgotten that act of goodness and I keep him in my prayers.
All the best to you and your son.

Mark Crain
Member
Mark Crain(@mark_crain)
5 months ago

Thank you for sharing your powerful words. May the light of Jesus shine on your son and on you.

Noelle Clemens
Member
Noelle Clemens(@jeanne)
5 months ago

Thank you. 🌻

Patricia O'Brien
Member
Patricia O'Brien(@marispiper)
5 months ago

Wonderful Elizabeth. Any parent who has been there for their (adult) child through a dark time will resonate with that. Thank you x

Thimas@
Member
Thimas@(@thimas)
5 months ago

What are terrific piece of wall art I can see how Banksy would have liked it. And it reflects today’s gospel very well.
My son has alcohol addiction problems, ( to say the least) he says Russell Brand is very inspiring regarding addiction, he has been through addiction himself. I must admit I don’t find him funny and I don’t particularly admire him, but he is a good communicator regarding addiction. However the way he has been condemned without proof and had his career ruined just on the say so of the media is pretty bad.
I think it’s a close balance between good and bad regarding social media, it’s a shame how humans managed to find something bad to bring out in everything.

Chazbo M
Member
Chazbo M(@chazbo)
5 months ago
Reply to  Thimas@

Yes he understands addiction. And I agree he’s being condemned by the mob which is always an ugly sight.

Patricia O'Brien
Member
Patricia O'Brien(@marispiper)
5 months ago
Reply to  Thimas@

My heart goes out to you and your boy. If you are willing to post his Christian name, I will remember you both in Mothers Prayers which I go to each Tuesday.
One mother there lost her son to drug addiction….
Your son can see the way to go – please God he will have the strength to take it, with you by his side.
I am in agreement with you and Chazbo about Russell Brand. I am not a fan either but I used to like hearing his comments on things like Question Time – he is a good communicator full stop.
Trial by Media or accusation is so wrong.
I have known two teachers wrongly accused (just out of spite or devilment, I suppose) who have had their careers ruined.

spaceforgrace
Member
spaceforgrace(@spaceforgrace)
5 months ago

I find the mainstream media far more poisonous that social media. With social media you can choose what to read and who to be friends with. However, the mainstream media can be toxic, which is why I rarely see tv news anymore and if I do I watch varied channels to compare the coverage.

Chazbo M
Member
Chazbo M(@chazbo)
5 months ago
Reply to  spaceforgrace

I can’t bear the news now. Laura Kuenssberg has been running a sort of expose of why we have had five prime ministers in six years. ‘State of Chaos’ last episode next Monday. Very good but I know we don’t want to get involved in politics here.

Patricia O'Brien
Member
Patricia O'Brien(@marispiper)
5 months ago

I hope nobody on CA cries if they don’t get many ‘likes’
‘Riches I need not, nor man’s empty praise…’
I’m just being a bit flippant. 😁
I love everyone on here….

Chazbo M
Member
Chazbo M(@chazbo)
5 months ago

Some of my comments get very few ‘likes’ Patricia but that doesn’t worry me! I know how to get them and making controversial comments doesn’t usually go down well. Like this one!!

marleen de vlieghere
Member
marleen de vlieghere(@marleen)
5 months ago
Reply to  Chazbo M

Chazbo, I am a silent admirer from all the comments on CA, specially yours. Please continue!

Chazbo M
Member
Chazbo M(@chazbo)
5 months ago

Thank you so much Marleen! I love writing on Christian Art. It starts my day off and I feel close to everyone on it though I have never met anyone. I hope we will meet in the next life!!

marleen de vlieghere
Member
marleen de vlieghere(@marleen)
5 months ago
Reply to  Chazbo M

We’ve already met, Chazbo!

Patricia O'Brien
Member
Patricia O'Brien(@marispiper)
5 months ago
Reply to  Chazbo M

Rubbish C ! I like your controversial comments….in fact, I like anybody’s controversy, heresy or doubts to add to my own.
We want to find the way, don’t we?

Noelle Clemens
Member
Noelle Clemens(@jeanne)
5 months ago

Again, hear hear!

Noelle Clemens
Member
Noelle Clemens(@jeanne)
5 months ago

Hear, hear, Patricia. There are times when we feel inspired, and dry times, too. Posting on this site, when we can, is a way of saying thank you to Father Patrick and his team, and a wonderful way of learning and sharing our experiences and faith along the journey that has been given to us. The pictures are such a great starting point.🌻

Noelle Clemens
Member
Noelle Clemens(@jeanne)
5 months ago

Today’s picture is such a heart-rendingly accurate portrayal of desolation and devastation. As a child I felt something similar, coming to England at the age of 4 yrs and feeling totally baffled by the children of a small village, social exclusion was a personal thing in those days! – and still can be.
We need each other, we need to listen to each other, and really hear what is being said. If that means restricting our consumption of tv & social media, let’s do it. During storm Eunice eighteen months ago our village was without electricity for a couple of days. People still remember it as a happy time, of families talking to each other and their neighbours far more than usual.
Lord, help me to really listen and to respond with a loving heart, which has been filled and taught by You.

Clare Usmar
Member
Clare Usmar(@clareu)
5 months ago

Whilst today’s devotion looks directly at the risks of social media, the same could also be said of any popular media. I am reminded of how, as human beings, we can be swayed by popular opinion, by opinions demonising groups just by how they are portrayed in the media. These, too, often affect our actions. Are we being as careful and thoughtful about the motives of the broadcasters we watch or listen to? And how we then discuss what we see and hear with friends and family? Are they helping us to love our neighbour? Sobering reading, indeed.

Chazbo M
Member
Chazbo M(@chazbo)
5 months ago
Reply to  Clare Usmar

“Morality’ put together by a howling mob. There is nothing more frightening or immoral. And much of our history has consisted of this. Thank God our faith has shown us a way out and we should also acknowledge our debt the Age of Enlightenment with its emphasis on reason. More to be said on the latter of course.

Tina Shaw
Member
Tina Shaw(@tina)
5 months ago

A powerful image that says so much,
Help!
Listen to me…….
Just as I am

Mike Baird
Member
Mike Baird(@mikeb)
5 months ago

“Children shouting at one another while they sit in the marketplace”. Boy, doesn’t that describe our social media saturated society. Everyone shouting, no one listening, all very shallow.

This is a good reminder for me to be more mindful of my social media use, including this forum. I’ve recently started a new discipline by observing “No Device Sundays”. It’s quite liberating. I started talking with my family. They seem like nice people.

Jesus, help me shout less and listen more.
Saint Philip Neri, please pray for me.

Polly French
Member
Polly French(@pauline)
5 months ago
Reply to  Mike Baird

We live in a very loud world sometimes where shouting seems to be applauded and humility belittled. This forum is good for the soul, unlike many others I presume! (This is the only one I do!) People don’t shout here, they listen, encourage, respond and go deeper to help us all find God! ❤️💖

Chazbo M
Member
Chazbo M(@chazbo)
5 months ago
Reply to  Polly French

Like you Polly, I don’t use social media, as unlike Father I think they are bad for us humans. A kind of half communication, without sound or facial expression (I refer to Facebook and Twitter). People show off on them and present a highly edited version of their lives, bigging up exotic holidays and impressive meals etc while very rarely posting say ‘just another trip down to Aldi to buy cheap baked beans because it’s the end of the month and I’m low on cash’! This results in jealousy, low self esteem in the other readers and covetousness for lifestyles beyond their means.
The internet as a whole is a wonderful benefit to the human race.

Patricia O'Brien
Member
Patricia O'Brien(@marispiper)
5 months ago
Reply to  Polly French

Agree Polly. Every post on here is a positive☺

Chazbo M
Member
Chazbo M(@chazbo)
5 months ago
Reply to  Mike Baird

Good point Mike. People shouting from the hip so to speak. I hope that your family are a strength to you right now.
With my wife away for a few days I’m using the time as a practice run for widowerhood! That’s putting a good spin on a bit of lonely time!

Noelle Clemens
Member
Noelle Clemens(@jeanne)
5 months ago
Reply to  Chazbo M

How about a trip to the National Gallery? – I think the Frans Hals exhibition has started. Or the renovated National Portrait Gallery? Have a good coffee, start a conversation, drop into a different church. Take Jesus with you and tell Him what you’re feeling….and to use an Americanism, “have a nice day”. 🌻

Chazbo M
Member
Chazbo M(@chazbo)
5 months ago
Reply to  Noelle Clemens

Thank Noelle. I’m looking after two small annoying dogs which precludes many activities. I do go to lots of art exhibitions but I really can’t warm to Frans Hals. About the only Dutch painter that doesn’t work for me – I think he opens at the end of the month.
Where were you born? I spent my formative years living in Spain.

Noelle Clemens
Member
Noelle Clemens(@jeanne)
5 months ago
Reply to  Chazbo M

Oh dear, dogs are a tie! I’ve just watched a short video on Hals, and while he’s not a favourite, I do admire the liveliness of his portaits, up to a point… & my mother liked him!
I was accidentally born in London, but spent early years in France, Switzerland and South Africa.

Polly French
Member
Polly French(@pauline)
5 months ago

Go deeper, listen for God! I love this Fr Patrick, thank you. The number of “likes” for a photo etc on social media is how so many, probably the younger generation seek validation! Surface level stuff! It may contribute to a lot of mental health issues. Help us keep Jesus at the centre of our lives, knowing what our our purpose and end goal is. The painting really illustrates the feeling of frustration the young boy has. Great name for the painting too. I will use this as a catalyst to generate discussion among the young people. (I’m posting early because of other commitments) I look forward to all the Posts every day. They sustain me, educate me, inspire me and give confidence to be bold for Christ!

Nik
Member
Nik(@nik)
5 months ago
Reply to  Polly French

Mooie bijzondere keuze van Father Patrick.

Mark Crain
Member
Mark Crain(@mark_crain)
5 months ago
Reply to  Polly French

You inspire me Polly. I am thankful for your posts.

Polly French
Member
Polly French(@pauline)
5 months ago
Reply to  Mark Crain

Thank you Mark . I believe the Holy Spirit is in our midst on this site. Praise God ! 🥰

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