05 October 2012

Hearing God's Word...

"Woe to you, Chorazin! woe to you, Bethsaida! for if the mighty works done in you had been done in Tyre and Sidon, they would have repented long ago, sitting in sackcloth and ashes. But it shall be more tolerable in the judgment for Tyre and Sidon than for you. And you, Capernaum, will you be exalted to heaven? You shall be brought down to Hades. He who hears you hears me, and he who rejects you rejects me, and he who rejects me rejects him who sent me."
- St. Luke 10:13-16.

Our Lord has been speaking to the seventy disciples whom He had sent out two by two to announce the Kingdom of God. He tells them, “Whenever you enter a town and they do not receive you, go into its streets and say, ‘Even the dust of your town that clings to our feet, we wipe off against you; nevertheless know this, that the kingdom of God has come near.’”

There are serious consequences to rejecting God's word. God speaks. He speaks through the Scriptures; He speaks through His Church; He speaks in many ways, all being rooted in His Word, Jesus Christ. Every promise, every revelation of God that man has ever heard, can actually become his condemnation. If God’s promises are embraced, they are man’s greatest glory; but each promise rejected becomes a witness against him.

In this Gospel, our Lord mentions certain towns: Chorazin and Bethsaida. God’s Word came to them, and great works were done in them, but they ignored what they saw and heard. The result? They are no more. They rejected Christ, and so were condemned. Our Lord speaks of Capernaum, which at this time was an active city in Galilee. It would have been impossible for Christ’s hearers to think of Capernaum no longer existing.  It was one of the centers of the fishing industry on the Sea of Galilee; it was the home town of Peter and Andrew; the synagogue was there where Jesus imparted some of His most important teachings; healings had taken place there. But the people of Capernaum did not submit themselves to Christ, and to visit it today is to visit ruins.

“He who has ears to hear, let him hear.”