Twenty-sixth Week in Ordinary Time
Friends, in today’s Gospel Jesus passes judgment on towns who have failed to believe in him and his signs: “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, sitting in sackcloth and ashes.” And this Gospel contains a word for us.
What is the first thing that the minister should do upon entering a city? “Cure the sick there.” Christ is Soter, healer of both body and spirit. So many of the saints were healers; so many of the apparitions of the Blessed Mother lead to healing.
Another great task of the Church is to proclaim, “The reign of God is at hand.” The Church is an announcing, proclaiming, evangelizing organism. What we proclaim is that, in Jesus Christ, a whole new way of ordering things has appeared, that God, in Christ, is drawing all things to himself. The great ordering principles of the world—money, fame, power, sex, pleasure—are overthrown. A new king has come, a new way of organizing life. Love, inclusion, compassion, nonviolence, forgiveness, especially of enemies—this is now the way sanctioned by God.
“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,
sitting in sackcloth and ashes.
But it will be more tolerable for Tyre and Sidon
at the judgment than for you.
And as for you, Capernaum, ‘Will you be exalted to heaven?
You will go down to the netherworld.’
Whoever listens to you listens to me.
Whoever rejects you rejects me.
And whoever rejects me rejects the one who sent me.”