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Reproaches to unrepentant towns

Gospel Reading: Mt 11:20-24
Jesus began to reproach the towns where most of his mighty deeds had been done, since they had not repented. “Woe to you, Chorazin! Woe to you, Bethsaida! For if the mighty deeds done in your midst had been done in Tyre and Sidon, they would long ago have repented in sackcloth and ashes. But I tell you, it will be more tolerable for Tyre and Sidon on the day of judgment than for you. And as for you, Capernaum:/ Will you be exalted to heaven? / You will go down to the netherworld./ For if the mighty deeds done in your midst had been done in Sodom, it would have remained until this day. But I tell you, it will be more tolerable for the land of Sodom on the day of judgment than for you.”

REFLECTION
Jesus began to reproach the towns… Since they had not repented. Jesus lament over Chorazin, Bethsaida, and Capernaum – towns where he has worked a number of miracles – for their failure to reform. They seem to have missed the point of the miracles as calls to repentance. Jesus now pronounces judgment as he declares, “Woe to you…”

What frustrates Jesus even more is the thought that if pagan peoples witnessed such miracles, they would immediately reform. The people of Tyre and Sidon know better; they are more attuned to conversion.

In our times, we witness many awe-inspiring miracles, but we fail to appreciate their spiritual value because we see them from the secular point of view. We attribute them to modern science and technology.

If we are receptive to God’s actions working in nature, technology, and history, when we attribute everything good to God, that is already a sign of repentance. There is no judgment for us who recognize God’s efforts to draw us closer to him.

When Jesus works a miracle for you, be prepared to discern its meaning and heed the call to repentance.

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SOURCE: “365 Days with the Lord 2016,” ST. PAULS Philippines, 7708 St. Paul Rd., SAV, Makati City (Phils.); Tel.: 895-9701; Fax 895-7328; E-mail: books@stpauls.ph; Website: http://www.stpauls.ph.

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