Rejection is a negative attitude of turning someone or something away or refusing to let in. The pain of rejection could frustrate and make someone look worthless. Have you ever experienced rejection that often leads to a total ejection? You may like to know the encounters some notable individuals had with the reality of rejection:
- Oprah Winfrey was rejected at a TV house because they thought she was unfit for TV. Today she the host of her show and own the OWN (Oprah Winfrey Network).
- K. Rowling is the author of the book Harry Potter which was adapted to the epic series “Harry Potter.” The surprising fact is that several publishers rejected the author’s manuscript before Bloomsbury could consider it after twenty years.
- Michael Jordan, the professional basketball player in the United States, was rejected by his high school basketball team for lack of skill.
- Warren Buffet who is also known as the “Oracle of Omaha” is one of the top three wealthiest people in the USA. At the age of sixteen, his application to study at Harvard was rejected when he was sure that his business ideas with stock marketing would add value during the interview.
- His teachers in elementary school rejected the great German-born American physicist and scientist Albert Einstein because he was too dull to learn.
In the Gospel narrative today (Luke 4:31-36), our Lord Jesus Christ visits his home town Nazareth for the first time after the beginning of his ministry around the regions of Galilee. What ought to be a grand reception of their own turned out to be a rejection and even an attempted murder. The examples of people who faced rejection at some points in their lives show that they were striving towards some personal goals, but in the case of our Lord Jesus Christ, he was rejected not for his gain but for bringing the good news and salvation to his people.
Going through the narrative intently, we understand that our Lord read the prophecy of Isaiah which contains the manifesto his ministry and concludes by acknowledging the fulfilment of scripture in their hearing. The people were more concerned about who said it than what is said, “the gracious words that came from his mouth.”
In the defective minds of the Nazarenes, the son of the carpenter cannot save them with the good news of liberation and restoration (Luke 4:18). For them, nothing good could come out of their town Nazareth (John 1:46). In their estimation, if there should be anything right, it should not come from the son of Mary, the humble lady without lots of material means.
Our Lord did not spare the people by remarking how their familiarity with his background is a hindrance to their faith and blessings from God. Our Lord’s reprisal infuriated them because they could not stand the truth and they drove him out of the town and tried to hurl him off the cliff, but he walked away through the midst of them.
The Rejection of Jesus is the Rejection of Love
When the people of Nazareth drove Jesus Christ away from their town, they were spiritually ejecting and rejection God who is love (1 John 4:8). Our Lord Jesus Christ is God’s gift of love to us (John 3:16). The rejection was not just about the son of the carpenter or the son of Mary but more of the rejection of God’s invaluable gift to humanity.
In the Second Reading (1 Cor. 12:31; 13:1-13), St. Paul talks about the nature and character of love. Among other things, he mentions that love bears all things, endures all things and love never ends. When the people of Nazareth rejected God’s love through our Lord Jesus Christ, God did not withdraw his love but extended it to the people around Capernaum where our Lord continued his ministry.
Are You Rejecting Jesus Christ?
It would be difficult to hear anyone in the Church answer “yes” to this question consequently; we would likely hear a resounding “no”! But on a deeper level of reflection, we can discover that we reject our Lord Jesus Christ consciously and unconsciously when we fall into sin.
We reject Jesus Christ when we give hatred to others instead of love. We reject Jesus Christ when we close our minds and hearts to the commandments of God. We reject Jesus Christ when we plan and execute evil and fail to do good. If we at this point repeat the question “are you rejecting Jesus Christ? What answer would you give?
The opposite of rejection is acceptance. God is inviting us today to reappraise how we accept and return His unfailing love for us. Furthermore, there is the need for us to examine how we accept the good news through commitment and active participation in the celebration of the Word and the Sacraments.
We need to rise beyond the name “Christians” and thrive to live the Christian life. The Christian life consists of total acceptance and purposeful choice of doing the will of God in season and out of season. The Christian life also involves defending our faith even when we are confronted by trials knowing that He who knew us before we were formed in our mother’s womb would protect us from the siege of those who fight against us as the First Reading (Jer. 1:4-5,19-19) promises.
Have a beautiful Sunday and a gracious week ahead.