Daily Gospel Reflection by Dn. Chuck & Linda McDaniels – July 18th, 2023

The Gospel according to Matthew (11:20-24) 

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.”

Reflection: There are definitely very challenging words from Jesus in today’s Gospel.  When we think of Jesus as the loving Son of God, we would not think of Him saying such harsh words to these three towns, right?  What caused Jesus to respond this way?  We see it said that it was the unbelief of these three communities that earned this stern rebuke from Jesus.  

In a way, it’s a like a little Lent in the middle of the summer.  What Jesus is so upset about is that these three towns were witness to Jesus’ teachings and miracles, and yet they did not change their ways or reform their lives.  Lent, of course, is the season each year where we have the opportunity to look inside ourselves, and to try to do just that: change our ways and reform our lives.  We’re obviously not in Lent now, but do we take time outside that season to look at how we are living out our faith?  

We might think that Jesus could not possibly be talking about us in today’s Gospel.  We go to Mass, we pray, we ponder the scriptures (perhaps, even through these daily Gospel reflections from the Deacon5!).  But, do we see our mission as a follower of Jesus?  Do we try to live a life of love and service and kindness, whether or not we get any “credit” for it?   

Today, let us think about that.  And, if we’re a little off course, don’t worry!  Today is a great day to course-correct, and to begin anew with shining Jesus’ light wherever we go.  Don’t underestimate how much impact it can have!  So, go and do a kind deed!  Bonus points if no one sees you do it!  

Action for the Day: As Chuck just suggested, go and do a kind deed today.  Do your best to do it “in secret”, so that you can be Jesus’ hands of love to someone who needs that kindness!   If you would like to hear this reflection, click the link below! 

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