The consequence of unbelief
Readings: 1st: Is 7:1-9; Ps: 48; Gos: Mt 11:20-24
This brief reflection was written by Fr. Njoku Canice Chukwuemeka, C.S.Sp. He is a Catholic Priest and a member of the Congregation of the Holy Spirit (Spiritans). He is a missionary in Puerto Rico, the island of enchantment. He is the Chancellor of the Dioceses of Fajardo-Humacao, Puerto Rico; the Parish Priest of Parroquia la Resurrección del Senor, Canovanas and the Major Superior of the Congregation of the Holy Spirit (Spiritans), Circumscription of Puerto Rico and Dominican Republic. For more details and comments contact him at: firstname.lastname@example.org, email@example.com
Today, is the Tuesday of the fifteenth week of ordinary time. Today, Christ reacted to the unbelief of the cities where he worked.
One of the most disappointing things in life is that, after making much effort to inform someone of an imminent danger, yet he or she ignores it. Ordinarily, the normal reaction should be to leave the person to his or her fate.
However, this does not solve the problem. Anyone who cares much will continue to try. So, the reproach of Christ to these cities was a continuous reminder of their final ruin, should they continue in their unbelief.
Today Christ warned: “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.”
This was a prophecy about their imminent destruction. By comparing them to the pagan cities of Tyre and Sidon, shows that Christ did much work in these cities within the three years of his missionary life.
So, rather than accept the invitation of Christ to repent and save themselves, they became more rigid, and continued in their old ways.
Unfortunately, at times, when we read these discourses on the mission and encounters of Christ with people, we are tempted to say, they are “mere biblical stories” of the past. Yes, at a certain level they are, but they are more than this.
So, today’s gospel speaks to each of us. It is a valid warning for us who today, read and meditate daily on the word of God. This is because, the Gospels was written for all times. It is ageless, and will be alive for ever.
It is a call for us to evaluate ourselves. It is equally, a warning to all of us who, in spite of all the beautiful word of God and messages we hear every day, remain unrepentant, and continue to do what we are doing.
Christ is reminding us that the clock is ticking fast. So, we must take advantage of the short time we have left in order to save ourselves from the imminent ruin.
Therefore, we must heed the psalmist’s advice: “Today, if you hear his voice, do not harden your hearts as you did in the rebellion” (Ps 95: 6-11; Heb 3: 7-9)
Peace be with you all!