TUESDAY 15TH WEEK IN ORDINARY TIME YEAR II
Isaiah 7:1-9, Matthew 11:20-24
TO WHOM MUCH IS GIVEN, MUCH IS EXPECTED
There is a cliche that to whom much is given much is expected. Those who have invested so much in business for example, will expect to get something substantial out of it. Those who plant in large plots of land will also expect a rich harvest. It could be very frustrating if you invest so much time, energy and resources into something and it comes out to be a big disappointment.
In the gospel reading of today, Jesus regarded the cities of Capernaum, Bethsaida and Chorazin as disappointment because their faith was very shallow after all that he had done there. During his time on earth, Jesus and his Apostles frequented these cities. They preached there and worked many miracles. Jesus healed a blind man near the pool of Bethsaida, and his multiplication of the loaves of bread was around that area too. Capernaum is the place of Peter and Andrew his brother, and he worked most of his important miracles there including the healing of Peter's mother-in-law. These miracles and the preaching of Jesus and his Apostles were enough to make these cities pillars of faith. This was not the case. Jesus therefore was not happy, he felt he had wasted his effort in preaching to the people of these cities.
The cities of Tyre and Sidon were gentile cities known for their wickedness and depravity, they never heard Jesus preach, and no miracle was worked there. Jesus therefore warned the people of Capernaum, Bathsaida, and Chorazin that it will be tougher for them on the day of judgement than the people of Tyre and Sidon because they have been instructed and refused to repent. If he had done those preaching and miracles in Tyre and Sidon, they may have repented.
The message of the gospel reading is for us Christians of today. So much time, energy and resources have been invested in us by God. We have been baptized, we hear the word of God everyday, miracles are being worked in our lives every day even those we do not see many of them and we do not even know, and above all, we receive the body and blood of Christ. What more can we ask for?
We cannot compare ourselves with those who have never heard about God, those who do not have opportunity to hear the word of God daily as we do, and those who cannot receive Jesus into their soul.
Jesus therefore expects so much from us Christians because he has invested much in us.
May we not be a disappointment to God on the last day. Amen.
Fr Michael Osatofoh Eninlejie MSP