FRIDAY, SEVENTEENTH WEEK IN ORDINARY TIME
Lev 23:1,4-11,15-16,27,34-37; Ps 81:3-6,10-11; Mt 13:54-58
DO YOU REJECT JESUS?
Today’s gospel tells of the rejection of Jesus by his own townsfolk. Today, we the priests, religious and laity are his own people. We do accept him, and no longer question his family origins like in the Gospel. We do know theologically who Jesus is. We are called today to reflect, not on our knowledge of Jesus, but our acceptance of him. It is not an exterior acceptance manifested by rituals and spiritual practices, but an interior acceptance that is founded on an enduring disposition.
How would we describe the depth of our relationship with Jesus? We know that he comes daily in our midst, that he comes in the form of bread and wine in our hearts. Yet do we acknowledge his presence within in the way we live our life, and accept his presence in others in the way we relate to them? We know he is the son of God, the second person of the Holy Trinity. Do we approach him with the same reverence and adoration? We know he is the redeemer who gave his life on the cross out of love for us. Do we give ourselves to him in unconditional love, for his service? We know he desires to be our friend. Do we spend enough time in prayer to grow in his friendship?
We also have something to learn from the response of Jesus to the rejection by his own. He did not quit his mission. Instead, he set aside the attitudes of the people and, with the same zeal, continued with his work of preaching the good news of his Father’s love. The acceptance or rejection of the world is temporary. Your greatest admirer today, may become your most vociferous critic tomorrow. If we hold dear the world’s opinion about us, we will be tossed on the waves of anguish, despair and discouragement. But the Lord’s faithfulness never wavers. Hence, as Christians, we have the Lord’s own challenge before us. “You will be hated by all because of my name. But the one who perseveres to the end will be saved” (Mk 13:13).
Response: Sing joyfully to God our strength.
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