DAILY HOMILY FOR TUESDAY OF THE 15TH WEEK IN ORDINARY TIME CYCLE I
THEME: REPENTANCE….. “Alas for you Chorazin and Bethsaida!”
BY: Fr. Pedro-José YNARAJA i Díaz
HOMILY: Today, the Gospel speaks of God’s historical judgement of Chorazín, Capernaum and other towns: «Alas for you Chorazin and Bethsaida! If the miracles worked in you had taken place in Tyre and Sidon, the people there would have repented long ago in sackcloth and ashes» (Mt 11:21). Among their black ruins —all that is left out of them— I have been pondering over this passage. And I have not rejoiced over their failure. I thought: The Lord also went through our towns, our neighborhood our homes, and… did we pay any attention to him?, did I take notice of him?
With a stone in my hand, I told myself: something like this will be all that will remain from my historical existence, if I do not responsibly live the Lord’s visit. I remembered the poet: «O soul, lean now out the window: and you will see that love, when calling, holds on», and, ashamed, I admit having also answered: «Tomorrow, we shall let it in… it matters little if we answer tomorrow» (Lope de Vega).
When crossing the inhuman streets of our “dormitory towns”, I wonder: what can it be done to help this people whom I feel totally unable to establish a dialogue with, whom I cannot share my illusions with, whom it seems impossible to transmit God’s love to? And then, I remember the motto St. Francis de Sales chose when he was appointed bishop of Geneva —the then maximum exponent of the Protestant Reformation: «Where God planted us, we must yearn to bloom».
And if, with a stone in my hand at times I wonder about God’s strict judgement that may befall, at other times —with a wild little flower, born amongst the weeds and the manure in high mountains— I see that I should not lose Hope. I must reciprocate the goodness shown to me by God, and thus, what meager generosity I may place in the heart of whoever I am greeting, or the interested and attentive glance towards whoever is asking me some information, or just my smile of thanks addressed to whoever yields to let me through, will flourish in future. And Faith will not be lost in our environment.
Fr. Pedro-José YNARAJA i Díaz
(El Montanyà, Barcelona, Spain)