BY: Fr. Evaristus Abu



“Then he began to reproach the cities in which most of his deeds of power had been done, because they did not repent.” Matthew 11:20

Dear friends in Christ, as we can see from today’s Gospel passage, Jesus is obviously disappointed with the cities in which many of his miracles had taken place. Why was Jesus so angry with them? Simply, they were so happy to receive from him but were not willing to give back to him. These cities had faith enough to receive miracles but lacked the courage to repent from their sinful habits.

Somehow, the situation of these cities is a direct reflection of Christianity in our country. There are so many miracle centres (even though some are mere stage- managed-theatre-tricks), so many adverts calling on people to come and receive signs and wonders, so many men and women of God are into deliverance ministries offering liberation from sickness, poverty, ancestral curses, late marriage, childlessness and so on. Unfortunately, as miracles increase, sin and immorality also increase in our society.

Last week someone sent me a message about a man who was believing God for two brand new Mercedes Benz cars and one day he helped an old man to replace a flat car tire not knowing the old man was the owner of Mercedes Benz. In reward for his act of charity, the old man gave this guy two brand new Mercedes Benz cars for free. In response to the message, I said: “Are you only going to believe God for cars and mansions? Why not believe God for truthfulness, morality, holiness and contentment with what you have?”

We have turned God into a money-making entity. We are no better than these cities Jesus berated in today’s Gospel passage. We have witnessed a lot of miracles but have failed to repent. Whether we like it or not, the truth is that GOD IS VERY ANGRY WITH US CHRISTIANS IN THIS COUNTRY. Hear what Jesus says to us: “It shall be more tolerable on the day of judgement for the land of Sodom than for you.” Matthew 11:24.

Let us call a spade by its real name. Enough of all these feel-good motivational talks, enough of all these Biblical interpretation that gives the image of God just being at our service while we do whatever we like, enough of pampering sinners just because of the amount of offering and tithe they bring, enough of the display of crass wealth, luxury and status as evidence of faith in God. When Jesus said we should let our light shine, he didn’t refer to showing off big cars and houses, he meant holy deeds, truthfulness, obedience to God’s commandments, fear of God, purity of heart, poverty of spirit, forgiveness of those who offend us, kindness to the poor, the sick and prisoners.

Being a Christian is not all about making it in life. It is not all about miraculous intervention and promotion in power, prestige and prosperity. These are the peripherals. (Your heavenly father knows that you need them, but seek first his Kingdom. Matthew 6:33) Yes, God will not allow his children to suffer, but if we must receive from God, let us give back to Him. Let us allow His words guide our lives. Let us repent of our evil deeds. Let us cast aside the works of darkness. Let us refrain from making money and material success top priorities in our lives.

Ahaz did not even pray to God, yet God sent Isiah the prophet to him to assure him that there was no need to be afraid of the army that was approaching to fight him. Isaiah said to him: “If you will not believe, you shall not be established.” Dear friends, God is not asleep. He already knows what we want and what is best for us. Even if we do not ask, God knows when we need miracles and he never withholds them. We should not turn the whole of our religious enterprise into reminding God of things He has already promised to do for us. Let us invest all our time and energy henceforth, into that which is entirely in our power to do; living a righteous life.

Let us Pray: Lord Jesus, may I never be a disappointment to you. Amen.

*Be Happy. Live Positive. Have Faith. It is well with you. God bless you. (Tuesday of the 15th Week in Ordinary Time. Bible Study: Isaiah 7:1-9, Psalm 48:2-8, Matthew 11:20-24).

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