Thursday, July 16, 2020
Wednesday, July 15, 2020
Tuesday, July 14, 2020
Our Gospel today on the Memorial of St. Kateri Tekakwitha (Mt 11:20-24) Jesus gives the citizens of Chorazin, Bethsaida, and Capernaum a piece of his mind! They have all witnessed his mighty deeds yet the continue their ways as before. Jesus senses no remorse for their past ways, no indication they will repent for their transgressions. He warns them that at judgement time they will be judged more harshly than Sodom! In fact, Jesus goes as far as to say had Sodom been witness to all that Jesus had done in these three towns it would not have been destroyed.
Jesus is not upset over their past sins, but that the people of these towns, despite all they have seen and learned have not changed their ways. Jesus makes it clear that it is not enough to just believe in him. Jesus lets us know that we must know him and change our ways to follow him and his teachings. The doors to Christ’s Church are open to everyone, but his teachings remain constant. The onus is on us to change, just as the onus was on Chorazin, Bethsaida, and Capernaum. Are our hearts open to changing to follow Jesus?
Monday, July 13, 2020
The beginning of our Gospel today (Mt 10:34-11:1) seems so uncharacteristic of Jesus. He states he hasn't come to bring peace upon the earth, rather he brings a sword. What happened to, "Blessed are the peacemakers, for they will be called children of God" (cf Mt. 5:9). Or, as we read later in Matthew, "Then Jesus said to him, 'Put your sword back into its sheath, for all who take the sword will perish by the sword'" (cf Mt. 26:52).
It isn't that Jesus is bringing about division. His message of love is for everyone. He died for everyone. Reconciliation is for everyone. Division comes about from us as we listen, understand, and live Jesus' message. Jesus was and continues to prepare his followers for the hardships we will endure as a result of us putting him first in our lives. Jesus encourages us to take up our cross and follow him. And in our times, our crosses are speaking out against the sin of racism, protection of the unborn, and free expression of our faith, just to name a few.