October 4, 2020 – 27th Sunday in Ordinary Time
Click here for the readings (https://bible.usccb.org/bible/readings/100420.cfm)
Being rejected or to experience rejection is truly a terrible experience. When someone you love, a friend or family member rejects you for being who you are and for what you have done, is so painful. This experience creates emptiness in us and feelings of not being loved, not being wanted. This experience makes us worthless and useless, thus, traumatic. We experience this also in our workplaces when a co-worker and/or your employer get angry at you and shows sour attitude towards you. Or when your work has been rejected or a proposal has not been approved because of their biases with you.
In our community, there are many forms of rejection also that sometimes we are not aware of. We could just reject those whom we think are useless. We could easily not pay attention to those who do not belong in our circle of friends. We could just dismiss a person just because of appearance, education, family background or culture.
These kinds of rejections are not alien to God. Our Gospel this Sunday tells us that God is also experiencing rejections from us. Yes, God has been rejected by us in many ways. Jesus describes this in the parable. The tenants of the vineyard rejected the emissaries of the landowner by killing them, and even his own son.
This describes on how Israel repeadtedly rejected Yahweh by murdering the prophets sent for Israel’s conversion. However, the people’s response was of violence. The people rejected God’s messengers and killed them. It culminated in the life of Jesus, the Son of God. Indeed, Jesus, even though he is the Son of God had also been rejected. Only few recognized him as the Messiah. Many, especially the leaders of the Jewish people, failed to recognize and even refused to believe that he is indeed the Messiah. Hence, they killed him by nailing him on the cross, a shameful way of killing.
God is still being rejected by us until today. We are doing it in many ways and even in creative ways. We reject God because we want our own ways. We reject him because we want to believe what we like to believe. We fall short on this when we think that we know better than God. That is why, we have the tendency to linger on GUILT, to always feel guilty of what we have done instead of feeling sorry of our sins and ask God’s forgiveness and accept God’s mercy.
We reject God when we refuse to recognize his many appearances through the people we encounter. We reject God when we fail to recognize his presence in each of us. We reject God when we judge others. We reject God when we tend to believe that sinners such as alcoholics, drug addicts are less humans than us. Thus, we tend to believe that they are worthless and are good for nothing. We reject God when we continue to deprive others, when we continue to oppress and refuse to extend help to those who are in need. We reject God when we fail to see his face in each of us especially among us sinners, the poor and the oppressed.
God hungers for you and me. He hungers for our attention and love. He hungers for our goodness and generosity that we are called to show to the needy; because in these ways we become a people of God who shows what is just, lovely, pure and gracious as what St. Paul told us in the second reading.
God calls us today to recognize him, to feel his presence and to listen to what he is saying to us. I would like to invite you then to close your eyes… and remember those times when you failed to recognize God by rejecting the goodness of others, by judging the weaknesses of others, and by not accepting and embracing your own gifts, talents and also failures and weaknesses in life.
Let us be sorry then, and ask God’s forgiveness so that we will be able to feel and recognize him in us and through others. In this way, we may able to receive the Body of Christ in our Eucharistic Celebration with joy in our hearts. Hinaut pa.
Jom Baring, CSsR