Baruch 1:15-22; Luke 10:13-16

In today’s Gospel, Jesus has harsh words for people living in two towns. They were with him, heard him speaking, and saw what he did. However his presence, preaching, and actions did not move and transform them, did not cause them to recognize if they are on a wrong path and need to change their ways, and did not lead to a conversion experience. His words for people in Capernaum were even stronger because they not only ignored but even rejected him and his Good News.

This Gospel’s message contrasts with the first reading from the book of the prophet Baruch, which describes how the Israelites in exile recognized that they disregarded God’s voice and that each one of them “did evil in the sight of the Lord, our God.” They realized that they ignored God and God’s messengers and expressed a willingness to change.

We have to ask ourselves if God’s word touches us, helps us to realize if we need to change, and provides us with guidance regarding how daily to live our faith? Are we like the people harshly criticized by Jesus in today’s Gospel, because they ignored or even rejected his teaching? Or, are we like the Israelites in today’s first reading, who recognized their wrong ways and were ready to change them?

Let’s pray for the Holy Spirit when we read or hear the Sacred Scriptures, asking to be moved by God’s word and to be inspired to change our lives if necessary.

By Alex Rödlach

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