“Then he began to upbraid the cities where most of his mighty works had been done because they did not repent.” (Matthew 11:20)
Jesus is obviously disappointed with the cities where many of His miracles happened. They were happy to receive miracles but were not willing to give up their sinful ways. They had faith, strong enough for signs and wonders, but lacked faith powerful enough to ensure their repentance from sin.
Does this reflect the condition of your Christian life? Hear what Jesus says: “It shall be more tolerable on the day of judgement for the land of Sodom than for you.” (Matthew 11:24). To whom much is given, much is expected.
Sodom and Gomorrah were not lucky to have Jesus Christ preach to them, yet they perished. Today, we listen to Jesus on a daily basis. Just as God expected more from the towns of Chorazin, Bethsaida, and Capernaum, He expects much more from us.
Note that these towns did not have the privilege of social media, there was no printing press back then; access to the Bible was a luxury that many couldn’t afford. I have social media. I have the Bible under my pillow. I receive homilies on my phone every day. What is my excuse for not repenting from my sins? Why am I not making a positive impact in my world? Why is there still darkness in my life?
In today’s first reading, we see a great miracle unfold. Ahaz was king of Judah at this time and he heard that the kings of Syria had formed an alliance with the king of Israel and they were coming to wage war against Jerusalem. Ahaz was terribly shaken with fear because he had no military might. Ahaz didn’t know that God is greater than all the armies of the world combined. Fear is a sign of a lack of trust in God.
Ahaz did not even pray to God, yet God sent Isaiah the prophet to tell the king that there was no need to be afraid. Isaiah’s said to Ahaz: “If you will not believe, you shall not be established.” Are you scared of terrorists hiding in every nook and cranny of our nation? Have you lost all confidence in our security architecture? There is a silent war going on in our land and like Ahaz, we are poorly equipped in terms of weapons and ammunition. While we defend ourselves, let us not forget that we serve a powerful God who knows how to fight for his children. Let us increase our prayers and repent from any sin that may become a hindrance to our prayer or attract God’s wrath.
Let us pray: Almighty ever-living God, may the kind of life I live reflect my faith in you. Through Christ our Lord. Amen.
Bible Study: Isaiah 7:1-9, Ps. 48:2-8, Matthew 11:20-24).
© Rev. Fr. Evaristus Abu