15th Week in Ordinary Time
1st Reading: Is 7:1-9
In the days of Ahaz, king of Judah, son of Jotham, son of Uzziah, Rezin, king of Aram, and Pekah, king of Israel, son of Remaliah, went up to attack Jerusalem, but they were not able to conquer it. When word came to the house of David that Aram was encamped in Ephraim, the heart of the king and the heart of the people trembled, as the trees of the forest tremble in the wind. Then the LORD said to Isaiah: Go out to meet Ahaz, you and your son Shear-jashub, at the end of the conduit of the upper pool, on the highway of the fuller’s field, and say to him: Take care you remain tranquil and do not fear; let not your courage fail before these two stumps of smoldering brands the blazing anger of Rezin and the Arameans, and of the son Remaliah, because of the mischief that Aram, Ephraim and the son of Remaliah, plots against you, saying, “Let us go up and tear Judah asunder, make it our own by force, and appoint the son of Tabeel king there.” Thus says the LORD: This shall not stand, it shall not be! Damascus is the capital of Aram, and Rezin is the head of Damascus; Samaria is the capital of Ephraim, and Remaliah’s son the head of Samaria. But within sixty years and five, Ephraim shall be crushed, no longer a nation. Unless your faith is firmyou shall not be firm!
Gospel: Mt 11:20-24
Jesus began to reproach the towns where most of his mighty deeds had been done, since they had not repented. “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 in sackcloth and ashes. But I tell you, it will be more tolerable for Tyre and Sidon on the day of judgment than for you. And as for you, Capernaum: Will you be exalted to heaven? You will go down to the nether world. For if the mighty deeds done in your midst had been done in Sodom, it would have remained until this day. But I tell you, it will be more tolerable for the land of Sodom on the day of judgment than for you.”
THE SAVING POWER OF GOD: It is in fire that Gold is tested. It is when we face difficulties and problems that our character is tested. Some time we are shaken and fall, for our faith is shallow. When the news reached the King about the attack on Jerusalem he was trembling and God assures him through his Prophet to stand firm in the promise of the Lord. In spite of God’s assurance of his faithfulness, we tend to fall. We fail to read God’s mighty hand. If only we take time to read the signs of the time only then we realize the loving hand of God leading and guiding us. Let us see everything in the eyes of faith. The word of God, the Sacraments are opportunities for us to strengthen our relationship with Christ.
Prayer: In the midst of our trials, Lord deliver us.
OPPORTUNE TIME: Jesus feels for the chosen people as a mother does for her wayward son. Jesus desires that the chosen people give ear to the call for conversion and become the children of God’s Kingdom. Despite his efforts many Jews fail to listen; two thousand years after Jesus, these privileged people of God, fail to recognize that they were the first to be called to the Kingdom. The same case applies to Christians today. We fail to recognize the privileges being received through the Church: The Sacraments and the opportunities for entering the Kingdom of God. We are preoccupied with concerns of daily life that we ignore God’s offers. To be in the Kingdom is more of a personal choice rather than a birthright privilege. Give ear to it for time and opportunities wait for no one. Great was the appreciation of the gift of vocation for St. Tekakwitha that she said, “I have deliberated enough. For a long time, my decision on what I will do has been made. I have consecrated myself entirely to Jesus, son of Mary, I have chosen Him for husband and He alone will take me for wife.”
WOE TO THE HARD HEARTED: The birth of Moses is the starting point of God’s rescue mission for his people the Israelites. This will be followed by many other manifestations of God’s power that will lead to the freedom of God’s people against the hardheartedness of Pharaoh. In the Gospel Jesus dishes out woes to certain cities that had the privilege of witnessing his miracles but their hardheartedness had not allowed them to change. They were indifferent to the signs by which they were invited to take their place in the Kingdom that Christ was establishing. Are we enthusiastic about the presence of the reign of God in our midst? How much of a response have we made to the invitation of Christ which requires us to leave our old ways and embrace the path to conversion?