Commenting on the Gospel reading, taken from the twenty-first chapter of St. Matthew's Gospel, where we read, "Truly, the tax collectors and the harlots go into the Kingdom of God before you. For John came to you in the way of righteousness, and you did not believe him, but the tax collectors and the harlots believed him, and even when you saw it, you did not afterward repent and believe him," Pope Benedict XVI said, "Translated into the language of our time, this statement might sound something like this: agnostics, who are constantly exercised by the question of God, those who long for a pure heart but suffer on account of our sin, are closer to the Kingdom of God than believers whose life of faith is 'routine' and who regard the Church merely as an institution, without letting their hearts be touched by faith."
Increasingly it seems to me that many of us simply weren't paying attention, like the inattentive of old, during Jesus' own life and ministry. In this distracted age, during which entertainment reigns supreme, we constantly demand a spectacle. Is it really the spectacle that touches our hearts? Jesus did not seem to think so.
In the words of the late Kurt Cobain, from "Smells Like Teen Spirit"- "Here we are now, entertain us."UPDATE: To take what I am trying to express a bit further, I refer you, dear reader, to a striking piece by my friend Max Lindenman, who blogs wonderfully over at Diary of a Wimpy Catholic- "A Nameless Dignity."