A Greater Responsibility

Luke 10:13-16
Jb 38:1,12-21,40:3-5 / Psa 139

He who listens to you listens to me, and he who rejects you rejects me; but he who rejects me rejects Him Who sent me.
(Luke 10:16)

Are we not rejecting Jesus Christ
When we don’t receive Him constantly?
Don’t we fail this Pearl of such great prize
When we miss this opportunity?

“Woe to you, Chorazin! woe to you, Bethsaida! for if the miracles that were performed in you had been done in Tyre and Sidon, they would have repented long ago, sitting in sackcloth and ashes. But it shall be more tolerable in the judgment for Tyre and Sidon than for you. And you, Capernaum, will you be exalted to heaven? No, you will go down to the depths of Hades. He who listens to you listens to me, and he who rejects you rejects me; but he who rejects me rejects Him Who sent me.” (Luke 10:13-16)

Reflection

It must have been so frustrating for Jesus as he tried to convey His Gospel message to the Jews in the bay towns of Chorazin, Bethsaida and Capernaum. When He started His ministry, our Lord had set up His base in Capernaum to be closer to a greater number of people. He had performed many of His mighty works there to show them how blessed they had been with God’s presence in their midst. They had heard the good news of God’s kingdom, and the way of repentance, as shown by the example of the Ninevites in the time of Jonah. But the prophet Jonah hardly performed any miracle of healing, or expelled any evil spirits, much less raise anyone from the dead, as Jesus did. And yet the whole pagan country of Nineveh turned from their evil ways and repented. So how could one prophet, disobedient at first, and half-hearted in his mission at best, traversing an enormous city (“taking three days to go through it”), a traditional enemy of Israel, convince the whole population, from the king to the lowest subject to mend their ways in just a single day’s journey, by merely announcing, “Forty days more and Nineveh shall be destroyed”? (Jon. 3:3-9) Or perhaps the question should be, how come these towns along Lake Galilee, after witnessing the wonders performed by Christ, and hearing His divine messages could still remain so indifferent and unmoved? Was it because no prophet is accepted in his own native place? (Mt.13:57)

How about our present generation? While we may no longer have the physical presence of our Savior as the Jews did, we now have a fuller knowledge of His life and mission, plus a greater understanding of the work of the Holy Spirit in the Church and in our community. We have the rich heritage of our saints and martyrs, and the genius and powerful writings of great scholars and thinkers. We have a greater responsibility therefore as the more informed followers of Christ than those who are not and were not as blessed. And yet how many of us come to witness the greatest miracle that happens everyday in the celebration of the Holy Mass? How many of us are truly penitent, and desire to be transformed by receiving our Lord Jesus in the Holy Eucharist?

Jesus said, “He who listens to you listens to me, and he who rejects you rejects me; but he who rejects me rejects Him Who sent me.” In these words, our Lord is encouraging us to keep on proclaiming what we have learned from Him and His saints as His messengers of the Gospel. His messengers are not just His bishops, priests and religious. All of us who have been touched by the Holy Spirit proclaim the Gospel by our spoken and written words, and by our lives. How we respond to the call of Jesus defines our commitment as His followers in living and sharing His Gospel to others.

Dear God, let there be no complacency in proclaiming Your Word. Because we have received much, we must also give much, especially to those who have never had the opportunity to know You in a more personal way. This much we desire to do to honor Your Name. Amen.

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