Gospel Reflection for July 12, 2022
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 nether world. 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.” (Matthew 11:20-24)
In today’s Gospel, Jesus turns our focus to the importance of repentance. Although his miraculous works had been seen in numerous towns, he tells us that his presence and mighty deeds are not the mechanism by which the people will be saved. Jesus gained attention and proved his divinity with miraculous works. As the people began to attract to him, he preached about avoiding sin and living with love toward God and neighbor. These are the two elements, miracles and sin, that many of us focus on when concentrating on our faith. Yet there is another element that often goes overlooked, though it is arguably the most critical.
Repentance of sin is key to our salvation. While we strive to be as perfect as we possibly can, this goal is impossible due to our fallen human nature. We will sin, and we will sin often. But there is good news. In our Father’s endless mercy, He will not abandon us, no matter what we have done—as long as we repent. Considering the terrible acts of which people are capable, it is a great comfort to know that there is nothing we can do that would separate us from God’s love. We cannot expect this forgiveness, however, if we do not ask for it. This act of repentance makes us think and speak about what we have done so that we can fully face our transgressions. It also humbles us before God as we hang our heads, admit our faults, and apologize. This is a process of self-reflection and healing, and we need not enter into the act with any fear, since our Father will always grant forgiveness no matter what we have done.
Copyright 2022 Jessica Tucker
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