Then he began to reproach the cities in which most of his deeds of power had been done, because they did not repent. “Woe to you, Chorazin! Woe to you, Bethsaida! For if the deeds of power done in you had been done in Tyre and Sidon, they would have repented long ago in sackcloth and ashes.
But I tell you, on the day of judgment it will be more tolerable for Tyre and Sidon than for you. And you, Capernaum, will you be exalted to heaven? No, you will be brought down to Hades. For if the deeds of power done in you had been done in Sodom, it would have remained until this day. But I tell you that on the day of judgment it will be more tolerable for the land of Sodom than for you.”
New Revised Standard Version, copyright 1989, by the National Council of the Churches of Christ in the United States of America. Used by permission. All rights reserved. USCCB approved.
In today’s Gospel, Jesus’ words are tough to hear. If we read them superficially, we might think he is being temperamental, as if he expected his beloved cities to respond differently. But, if we go beyond that, we can discover something else, the warning of a humble man: don’t take love for granted.
The Lord invites us to let go of our securities, those that harden our hearts because we already feel we’re “too good”. He points out when we feel safe in our comfort zones and begin to take everything for granted. Look around you. What are perhaps some of the things we’ve taken for granted: our family, friends, God, his love and mercy…? Jesus is calling us to look at the simple things in our lives. His reproach is nothing but a call to really put love where we think it’s already “given”, especially in these harsh times we’re going through. In the middle of this pandemic, Jesus is calling us to take notice of those things we take for granted, to look beyond the surface so we can find him where we might be tempted to think he’s not present.
—Sebastián Salamanca Huet, SJ, is a scholastic of the Mexican province studying philosophy at the ITESO, Universidad Jesuita de Guadalajara in Guadalajara, Mexico.
Loving God, you call us to be aware of the people, events, and situations around us, so that we can notice where you are calling us to action in our lives. Help us to see and recognize you so that we may respond in love. Amen.
—The Jesuit Prayer teamPlease share the Good Word with your friends!