Jesus began to reproach the towns
where most of his mighty deeds had been done,
since they had not repented. (Mt 11:20)
Jesus certainly dealt with a stiff-necked people. They saw mighty deeds, really mighty deeds. They did not see magic act parlor tricks. No. They saw bonafide dead people being raised from the dead, certifiably possessed people being freed from demons, medically blind or crippled people cured.
These were not slight of hand acts.
They were real.
Sadly, the response of many of the people was to reject the miracles. They tried to explain them away. They did not want to have anything to do with Jesus.
Perhaps because Jesus’ message was a constant invitation — no, more of a challenge — to change: change their hearts, change their minds, change their lives.
As we know, change can be extremely difficult. It involves giving up things and ways that, even if they are bad for us, are “comfortable” and predictable. Our human nature would rather wallow in a bad situation than go out on a limb and risk change.
Jesus truly gave it to the people in today’s Gospel. He told them that the people of Tyre and Sidon, of Sodom and Gomorrah, would be models of religious life for, if they saw the deeds of Jesus, they would have repented and been saved. That was, truly, a slap in the face for those who heard the Lord’s words.
However, sometimes that’s what we need: a good, old-fashioned, spiritual slap in the face.
FAITH ACTION: Make a mental list of the things you need to change in your life, the things for which you need to repent. If necessary, plan to go to confession.