As He prepares the 70 disciples to go and evangelize broadly, Christ gives prophetic warnings to those people and villages that reject His Gospel. Having used the destruction of Sodom as a warning, Christ now pronounces judgment on specific towns that have rejected Him. Christ’s words, which anticipate the rejection the disciples will experience, are also given to help them to persevere and endure.

Christ begins by rebuking Chorazin and Bethsaida, two towns within a few hours walk where Jesus has performed “mighty deeds” (both Divine preaching and healing miracles).  Because these towns remain unrepentant, Jesus to expresses both anger and sorrow (“Woe”!) at their lukewarmness. Chorazin and Bethsaida were predominately Jewish towns that rejected the Messiah and bore great guilt; because of this they will fare worse in the Judgment than the Gentile towns of Tyre and Sidon on which God had previously promised to bring down judgment (Isa 23:1-17; Jer 25:22). Christ has an even stronger rebuke for Capernaum where He based His Galilean mission and spent much time and performed mighty deeds. Capernaum will not be exalted in Heaven but will be cast into Hell.

Knowing the rejection the disciples will undoubtably face, Christ further encourages the 70 with the truth that God is being rejected, not them.  Disciples are speaking Christ and His word, so it is Christ and His Father (“Him who sent Me”) who are ultimately being rejected.

Awed by Jesus ChristPerson of the Trinity, Christ reveals the future state of whole groups of people who reject Him and the existence of Hell. Divine King, calls men, expects them to repent and seek holiness and offers harsh rebukes to those who ignore Him. Divine Judge, Christ refers to His Judgment and the truth that many will be cast into Hell.

Being a Heroic Catholic Man

1) Wanting to avoid the discomfort of proclaiming the truth, many cherry pick scripture to promote a false politically-correct Jesus who ignores sin, makes no demands and forgives the unrepentant. To purge that blasphemy from your mind, re-read today’s Gospel, imaging that you are hearing Christ deliver this harsh condemnation.  Holy Fear is appropriate.

2) Many Catholic men do not passionately follow Christ and live out the faith, erroneously thinking their lukewarmness is good enough; it is not. Christ is demanding and expects His men to be zealous in their practice and in evangelizing the world.  Resolve to give Christ your absolute best, praying for the Holy Spirit to help you to be a heroic Catholic man.

3) Since Sin and Hell are seldom talked about, many Catholic men don’t believe it exists and that almost everyone gets to Heaven. Take some time to imagine Hell, realizing that it is infinitely worst than any horror than this world endures. Repent, fast and pray, clinging to feet of Our King, begging Him for salvation.

Spiritual Practices – Include in Today’s Prayers

Sacred Mystery of Rosary – The Sorrowful Mysteries

Daily Devotion – The Passion and Death of our Lord Jesus Christ

Virtue of the Day – Faith

Corporal Work of Mercy – To visit the sick

Spiritual Work of Mercy – To forgive all injuries