The towns that Jesus reproaches are towns where he had preached and performed miracles. The townspeople were indifferent to both his presence and his teaching.
On the other hand, Jesus states that if the towns committed to evil had heard him preach and seen his miracles they would have repented and accepted him. Jesus tells us very clearly that indifference can be a monumental mistake.
Today in our society and our culture many people are indifferent to Jesus and his teachings. Content and complacent with some knowledge of his teachings and at times experiencing his action in their lives, they remain indifferent.
“Gross is the heart of this people, they will hardly hear with their ears, they have closed their eyes, lest they see with their eyes and hear with their ears and understand with their heart and be converted, and I heal them.” (Matthew 13:15)
A prime example of the risk of indifference is the parable of the rich man and Lazarus the poor beggar, found in chapter sixteen of Luke’s gospel. The rich man didn’t chase Lazarus away or forbid him the crumbs from his table; but he ignored Lazarus and was indifferent to his needs.
In his Wednesday March 23, 2011 general audience Pope Benedict said that the modern world needs “zealous” disciples of Christ, who will fight religious indifference with the “light and beauty” of the Gospel. The question for us is, are we living as zealous disciples of Christ? Does the witness of our lives testify to the intensity of our belief and bring light to the darkness of indifference in our world today?
May our actions clearly show others that we are not indifferent to the words of Jesus and may our constant and sincere prayer be, “Lord never let me be indifferent to you, your teachings and the needs of others.”
- Fr. Stephen Haslach, C.P.