Woe to the Unrepentant Cities (Mt 11:20-24)
O Jesus, give me the grace to repent so I can face you on the Day of Judgment.
Picture Jesus teaching His disciples the importance of repentance.
People might have some superficial relationship with their parish and think that this will get them into heaven. The gospels correct this false impression. They demand a full relationship to Jesus, one which comes from the heart. Here, Jesus mentions three cities where he has preached. They have heard Jesus but have not accepted and responded to his word.
Gospel Text: (Read slowly, possibly aloud.)
Jesus began to chastise the cities where he had done his miracles.
“Woe to you, Chorazin. Woe to you, Bethsaida. If the miracles worked in you had been done in other cities, they would have done penance in sackcloth and ashes. It will be more tolerable for those cities on the day of judgment than for you.
And you, Capernaum: Shall you be exalted to heaven? You shall be cast down to hell. If I had done the miracles in Sodom, the city would still exist today. It shall be more tolerable for Sodom on the day of judgment than for you.”
Thoughts (Read all. Ponder the ones that attract you.)
- Jesus’ words are shocking. He speaks of sackcloth, ashes, judgment and hell.
- These cities have seen his miracles performed in their midst.
- Chorazin and Bethsaida welcomed him and accepted his miracles. However, they did not repent.
- Capernaum was Jesus’ headquarters. They thought they would be exalted.
- Jesus’ preaching and miracles only increased their guilt.
- Jesus wants a full conversion to life in His Kingdom.
- He will bring this about if you let him.
Affections: (When one touches your heart, use your own words.)
- O Jesus, I have enjoyed your word and your blessings.
- Jesus, stir my heart. Help me to respond.
- Stay with me, Jesus. Take up your residence.
- Jesus, I cannot bear the thought that you would condemn me on Judgment Day.
- Chastise me now, so you need not judge me later.
Resolutions: (Possibly you might want to make your own.)
+ What do I need to repent of?
+ Having received much, I will return much.
Thought for the Day: (To recall your meditation.)
If I had done these miracles in Sodom, they would have repented.