St Matthew 11:20-24
Jesus has spent a considerable amount of time and energy in the cities of Chorazin and Bethsaida. These cities are North of the Sea of Galilee and about five miles from Capernaum where Jesus stays with His mother Mary in St Peter’s house. These two cities have been honoured more than others by Jesus’s presence there and the miracles and works carried out by Jesus.
Jesus criticises these cities for their lack of response to Him and insults them by saying that Tyre and Sidon, pagan cities, would have repented in sackcloth and ashes had they experienced and witnessed what took place in Chorazin and Bethsaida.
The city of Capernaum receives an even greater condemnation. This is where Jesus has made His home after leaving Nazareth. Jesus makes an astonishing statement that their guilt is even greater than the city of Sodom, which was totally destroyed by God (Genesis 19:24-25). Jesus is dismayed at their lack of gratitude and their refusal to convert and repent. Although these are all thriving cities in the worldly sense, they are spiritually inept and dead.
Jesus expects us to be grateful for the gifts of His sacraments, the blessings and graces that He shares with us. He also expects us to respond to Him and invite Him deeper into our lives and into our daily choices and decisions. The people of Chorazin, Bethsaida and Capernaum were indifferent to Jesus and did not avail themselves to what the Lord was offering them. Jesus calls us to Himself each day. Do we always respond?
St Clare of Assisi (1194-1253)
“We become what we love and who we love shapes what we become. If we love things, we become a thing. If we love nothing, we become nothing. Imitation is not a literal mimicking of Christ, rather it means becoming the image of the beloved, an image disclosed through transformation. This means we are to become vessels of God´s compassionate love for others.”