"[I]f the mighty deeds done in your midst had been done in Tyre and Sidon, they would long ago have repented . . ." (Matthew 11:21).
I have scoffed at the people Jesus reproached in this Gospel. How could they not change? I wondered.
These people witnessed miracles, yet remained indifferent and unrepentant. In the past, I read this and felt so righteous, as though I could never be so stubborn and unchanging as those people! Of course I would follow Jesus!
But now, I feel pity for them. I'm one of them. How many days go by in which I slog along, complaining and grumbling, asking God for more signs, more wonders, more proofs? I'm blinded by my selfishness and pride, unchanged by the wonders God is already revealing to me.
Yet not all hope is lost! Even the people to whom Jesus spoke were not without hope.
I see a firm but merciful warning in Jesus' words: why would He have spoken to them of repentance if not to extend an invitation to turn to Him? I see myself in those who saw the mighty deeds and didn't fully turn to the Lord. I'm a bit stubborn and slow to change, but the Lord is good and merciful. With this Gospel, He's calling me to Him today, nudging me to recognize His work in my life.
I see His mighty deeds in reconciled relationships, the births of my children, the sisterhood of prayer warriors around me. The Lord's works are infinite and beautiful. They are an invitation to turn to Him, to change my heart, to be His disciple.
I'm not about to throw on sackcloth and ashes, but I am committing, once again, to turn back to Him. Jesus is in my midst and I don't want to miss Him working in my life.
Visit the Sacrament of Reconciliation this week. Check your parish or nearby churches for times. Just pencil into your calendar and make the time to turn your heart back fully to Him.
Gina Fensterer is a Colorado native at heart, but the West Coast beach life suits her just fine. She currently lives in small coastal area of California with her husband and six children. She loves the Jesus prayer, coffee at any time of day, homemade salsa, photography, and sleepy toddler snuggles. She is a contributing author to our children's devotional prayer book, Rise Up. You can find out more about her here.