Monday, July 11, 2016

On the Day of Judgment

By Melanie Rigney

Unless your faith is firm you shall not be firm! (Isaiah 7:9)

God upholds his city forever. (Psalm 48:9d)

“For if the mighty deeds done in your midst had been done in Sodom, it would have remained until this day. But I tell you, it will be more tolerable for the land of Sodom on the day of judgment than it was for you.” (Matthew 11:23-24)

Lord, may I never be indifferent to Your many graces.

Genesis 19 tells us that the Lord “rained down sulfur” on Sodom after all the
By Mathieu Dubus (
[Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons
townspeople threatened God’s angels with rape.  The next morning Abraham saw “smoke over the land rising like the smoke from a kiln.” This is the Old Testament God we all know, the one who provides quick punishment for those who break His commandments, who desires to violate and degrade others.

The Jesus we see in today’s Gospel reading isn’t the warm and fuzzy Son of God, the One who feeds people and cures them and shares beautiful, warm stories. This Jesus has a temper. This Jesus is angry, really angry at the towns that have failed to repent after having seen Him in the flesh.

How can towns that were less than impressed by Jesus fare worse on judgment day than a vile people who intended degradation and violence against strangers? The Sodomites didn’t recognize the angels for who they were, nor did those in the unrepentant towns recognize Jesus for who He was.

Perhaps the difference is that Jesus was right there in Chorazin, Bethsaida, and Capernaum, doing mighty deeds. There’s no indication Jesus was subjected to persecution in them. It seems, rather, that they came, they saw… and they yawned and moved on.

Does apathy trump violence? That’s for God to decide. Jesus’s words would lead us to believe that knowing about His goodness…and choosing to ignore it in the way we live sets us on a Judgment Day path fraught with more peril than those who don’t know the Lord. Not that they get a free pass, but that those of us who hear the Word have an obligation to live it.

What can you do today to demonstrate to God that you’re listening?

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