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ADMIRERS ONLY, OR FOLLOWERS?

Tuesday of the Fifteenth Week in Ordinary Time

Jesus began to reproach the towns where most of his mighty deeds had been done. “Woe to you, Chorazin! Woe to you, Bethsaida! For, if the mighty deeds done in your midst had been done in Sodom, it would have remained until this day.” (From Mathew 11:20-24)

First, it would be worthwhile to read the full text of today’s Gospel along with this reflection. I am including the link to the USCCB website and the readings for the day. You should be able to either click on it or copy and paste it into your browser. I recommend that you read the text first:

http://www.usccb.org/bible/readings/071817.cfm

I am reminded of an adage, first shared with me many years ago by my late friend and colleague, Judy Stewart, “…Jesus wants followers, not just admirers.” Which of the 2 are we? I think of this, because in today’s Gospel passage, Jesus chastises 3 communities: Chorazin, Bethsaida and especially Capernaum. They were not as receptive to him as he had hoped. He plainly tells them that there were other towns, pagan towns, to be specific, who would have eagerly accepted him, had he spent time with them.

Jesus confronts us today through this passage. Unfortunately, many of us who have heard of and known of him since childhood, at times take his Word and our faith for granted. Whereas, more than likely, there are those who, never having had Christ preached to them, would openly and eagerly welcome his message. The challenge for us, perhaps, and the very pointed question that we might want to consider is simply this: do I still desire to hear God’s Word in a new way and to be continually transformed by it, or has the newness worn off?

Are we followers of Christ or simply admirers only?