Re­proaches to un­re­pen­tant towns

Gospel Read­ing: Mt 11:20-24

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JE­SUS be­gan to re­proach the towns where most of his mighty deeds had been done, since they had not re­pented. “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. But I tell you, it will be more tol­er­a­ble for Tyre and Si­don on the day of judg­ment than for you. And as for you, Caper­naum:/ Will you be ex­alted to heaven? / You will go down to the nether­world./ For if the mighty deeds done in your midst had been done in Sodom, it would have re­mained un­til this day. But I tell you, it will be more tol­er­a­ble for the land of Sodom on the day of judg­ment than for you.”


Je­sus be­gan to re­proach the towns... Since they had not re­pented. Je­sus lament over Cho­razin, Beth­saida, and Caper­naum – towns where he has worked a num­ber of mir­a­cles – for their fail­ure to re­form. They seem to have missed the point of the mir­a­cles as calls to re­pen­tance. Je­sus now pro­nounces judg­ment as he de­clares, “Woe to you…”

What frus­trates Je­sus even more is the thought that if pa­gan peo­ples wit­nessed such mir­a­cles, they would im­me­di­ately re­form. The peo­ple of Tyre and Si­don know bet­ter; they are more at­tuned to con­ver­sion.

In our times, we wit­ness many awe-in­spir­ing mir­a­cles, but we fail to ap­pre­ci­ate their spir­i­tual value be­cause we see them from the sec­u­lar point of view. We at­tribute them to mod­ern science and tech­nol­ogy.

If we are re­cep­tive to God’s ac­tions work­ing in na­ture, tech­nol­ogy, and his­tory, when we at­tribute ev­ery­thing good to God, that is al­ready a sign of re­pen­tance. There is no judg­ment for us who rec­og­nize God’s ef­forts to draw us closer to him.

When Je­sus works a mir­a­cle for you, be pre­pared to dis­cern its mean­ing and heed the call to re­pen­tance.

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SOURCE: “365 Days with the Lord 2016,” ST. PAULS Philip­pines, 7708 St. Paul Rd., SAV, Makati City (Phils.); Tel.: 895-9701; Fax 895-7328; E-mail:; Web­site:

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