Matthew 11: 20-24 Reflection: Woe to Unrepentant Cities

A reading from the gospel of Matthew 11:20-24

20 Jesus began to reproach the towns where most of his mighty deeds had been done, since they had not repented.
21 “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.
22 But I tell you, it will be more tolerable for Tyre and Sidon on the day of judgment than for you.
23 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.
24 But I tell you, it will be more tolerable for the land of Sodom on the day of judgment than for you.”


In the gospel, Jesus poured out His frustration with the towns where He performed miracles but the people still did not repent. “Woe to you” is such a strong condemnation of people who utterly disregard the call of repentance.

We understand the great disappointment of Jesus. Even as He performed mighty deeds, it did not excite people’s faith. Some were astonished but they just raised their eyebrows and continued with their sinful ways. Their hardened hearts prevented them from understanding His message. Their pride blinded them and so, they failed to see that He was the Messiah they were waiting for and that God is the source of His power. They missed the chance to experience the joy, the peace, the healing power, freedom, and wisdom that only Jesus can bring. Despite His frustration, Jesus continued to perform mighty deeds and to preach the Kingdom of God.

The gospel reminds us that our actions have consequences. There will be a judgment day and each one will be called to account for his or her behavior. In strong words, Jesus is warning us not to harden our hearts.

As He did before, Jesus gives us many chances. Though we reject Him a hundred times, He will not stop to do mighty deeds in our life. May we have the eyes of faith to see how good the Lord is.

Gospel Reflection
Gospel Reflection


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