Father Edward McIlmail, LC
Listen to podcast version here.
Luke 10: 13-16
Jesus said to
them, "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."
Introductory Prayer:Lord, I believe that you are with me
as I begin this prayer. I trust in your
kindness and love. You know my weaknesses because you
saw them all during the agony you underwent for me
on Good Friday. I wish to stay as close
to you in this prayer as your Mother did to
you at the foot of the cross. Accept this
as the expression of my love for you.
help me to appreciate your gifts and use them to
the best of my ability, for your glory.
Privileged Few: Today we see another side of Jesus
in the Gospel. Often we see him as the miracle
worker, curing the sick, raising the dead. But now
we see the flipside of these miracles: Christ demands
a response from the people who have witnessed them. It´s
not enough that people stare in wonderment at Our
Lord´s mighty deeds. Those deeds, among other things, prove
his divine origin and the truthfulness of his message. Part
of that message demands repentance and conversion. Closer to
our own day we can think of the tens
of millions of people who personally saw Pope John Paul
II in his many public appearances. How many of
those people actually changed their lives after the encounter?
How have I responded to God´s grace and favor in
my life? Have I taken God´s graces for granted?
The Not-so-Blessed: God, in his mysterious design seems, to
favor some souls with gifts not given to others.
Here, Jesus acknowledges that Tyre and Sidon – pagan towns
– would have responded better to his miracles than
did Chorazin and Capernaum. That begs the question: Why
didn´t Jesus perform more miracles in those Gentile towns? Alas,
ours is not the place to question the wisdom
of God. Suffice it to say that Christ gives
some of us more than he gives others, and he
expects to see a return on his investment. It´s
not enough that we keep our faith untarnished and
sitting on a shelf, hidden from the world. No. The
gift of faith should prompt us to strive for
holiness, for continual conversion of heart, and for zeal
to build the Church. Does faith impact my life like
3. Domino Effect: Christ´s authority includes his ability to
delegate it. To the Church, he gives the power to
bind and to loose. "Whose sins you forgive are
forgiven them, and whose sins you retain are retained"
(John 20:23). Moreover, Number 891 of the Catechism observes
that "The Roman Pontiff, head of the college of
bishops, enjoys […] infallibility in virtue of his office, when,
as supreme pastor and teacher of all the faithful
-- who confirms his brethren in the faith --
he proclaims by a definitive act a doctrine pertaining to
faith or morals." When we follow the Holy Father´s
teaching, we honor the One who gave him authority.
And Our Lord´s authority extends in other areas: to parents
over their dependent children, to government officials who oversee
the common good, etc. Do I respect the legitimate
authority of those around me? Do I understand that
obedience to legitimate authority is a form of obedience to
Conversation with Christ:Jesus, help me see
that your obedience to Pilate on Good Friday was
part of your obedience to your loving Father in
heaven. Let me understand that obedience to legitimate authority is
a means of growth in humility and holiness.
I will carry out one request that a legitimate authority
(a boss, a parent, etc.) has been asking of
me… and do it with joy.