Then he began to reproach the cities in which most of his deeds of power had been done, because they did not repent. “Woe to you, Chorazin! Woe to you, Bethsaida! For if the deeds of power done in you had been done in Tyre and Sidon, they would have repented long ago in sackcloth and ashes. But I tell you, on the day of judgment it will be more tolerable for Tyre and Sidon than for you.
And you, Capernaum, will you be exalted to heaven? No, you will be brought down to Hades. For if the deeds of power done in you had been done in Sodom, it would have remained until this day. But I tell you that on the day of judgment it will be more tolerable for the land of Sodom than for you.”
New Revised Standard Version, copyright 1989, by the National Council of the Churches of Christ in the United States of America. Used by permission. All rights reserved. USCCB approved.
Jesus doesn’t walk our streets as he did in Bethsaida and Chorazin. Nevertheless, his harsh rebuke strikes close to home today. The townspeople failed to acknowledge the beauty and importance of Jesus’ mighty deeds. They were skeptical, ungrateful, and unimpressed.
Christ is present in our lives in a constant, miraculous, and incomprehensible way. To refuse or neglect to see God in our midst is to imitate the people of Bethsaida. To take our lives for granted is akin to rejecting Jesus’ amazing actions in Chorazin.
“To be grateful is to recognize the love of God in everything He has given us—and He has given us everything. Every breath we draw is a gift of His love, every moment of existence is grace, for it brings with us immense graces from Him. Gratitude therefore takes nothing for granted, is never unresponsive, is constantly awakening to new wonder, and to praise of the goodness of God. For the grateful person knows that God is good, not by hearsay but by experience. And that is what makes all the difference.” (Thomas Merton, Thoughts in Solitude)
Today, pray for a spirit of gratitude and ask yourself: What mighty deeds is Christ performing here and now?
My God, my God,
how wonderful you are!
There is nothing like you in the whole earth.
I look up to the skies, and I see you there;
Babies and infants open their mouths,
and I hear them cry your name.
Compared to you, our weapons, our bombs,
our power to destroy,
dwindle into insignificance.
On a starry night, with your glory splashed across the skies,
I gaze into your infinite universe, and I wonder:
Who am I?
Why do I matter?
Why do you care about mere mortals?
We humans are less than specks of dust in your universe.
We have existed less than a second in the great clock of creation.
Yet you choose us as your partners.
You share the secrets of the universe with us;
you give us a special place in your household;
you trust us to look after the earth, on your behalf—
not just the sheep and oxen,
but also the wolves that prey on our domestic animals;
the birds, the plants, and even creatures we have never seen
in the depths of the sea.
My God, my God! How amazing you are.
—James Taylor, Everyday Psalms (Wood Lake Books, 1994)