Idolatry: that is the worship of some god other than the God of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob, is the main sin to be avoided in the Old Testament.  The most obvious type of idolatry is represented by the golden calf fashioned by Aaron for the Hebrews, who thought Moses would never return from Mount Sinai.  But there is a more subtle form of idolatry: fashioning a god so carefully that this god can never challenge us, can never call us out of our ‘comfort zone’.

This is the kind of idolatry Our Lord denounces in today’s gospel.  Chorazin, Bethsaida and Capernaum were Jewish settlements on the northern edge of the Sea of Galilee; and it seems Our Lord’s call to repentance fell on deaf ears in those cities.

One of the great benefits of having daily Mass is that we have many opportunities to hear God’s Word.  If we hear that Word with open minds and hearts, we will hear its challenge as well as its comfort.  As the old saying goes: Our Lord came to comfort the afflicted and afflict the comfortable.  Full and active participation at Mass helps us avoid the temptation to keep God in our own comfort zone and to hear what we truly need to hear.


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