Friday, June 25, 2010

Good News Reflection FOR NEXT SUNDAY: June 27, 2010 13th Sunday in Ordinary Time, Cycle C

Good News Reflection
FOR NEXT SUNDAY: June 27, 2010
13th Sunday in Ordinary Time, Cycle C
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Next Sunday's Readings:
1 Kings 19:16b, 19-21
Ps 16:1-2, 5, 7-11
Gal 5:1, 13-18
Luke 9:51-62
USCCB Podcast of the Readings:
How well do you handle rejection? Next Sunday's Gospel reading shows us how the disciples reacted to rejection. They had entered a Samaritan village ahead of Jesus, as he had asked them to do, to gather an audience. But because the Samaritans had an anti-Jewish prejudice, they didn’t want to listen to Jesus. Their hearts were closed to anything he might want to say. And so they missed an opportunity to experience the Savior of the world.
How do you feel when close-hearted people reject your efforts to bring Jesus to them? What do you feel like doing when someone refuses to listen to you? Or when you try to explain a teaching of the Church but they don’t even want to try to understand?
The disciples who traveled with Jesus didn’t like rejection any more than you do. Two of his closest friends, James and John, thought they would do Jesus a favor by asking, “Do you want us to zap them with a lightning bolt?”
Jesus had previously told them to deal with rejection by wiping the dirt from their sandals and walking away. Now he lived what he preached by walking away these Samaritans. He didn't force his beliefs upon the villagers, even though they definitely needed the truths he could have taught them.
There's a lot we have to give up when we follow Jesus, including the grudges we like to hold and our desire to handle rejection with retaliation. Why give others that kind of control over our moods? Wiping the dirt from our shoes means we get rid of the bad feelings that steal our joy.
At the end of this scripture, Jesus explains that following him is always a forward motion. We're always walking away from something: away from rejection, away from our unloving reactions to prejudice, away from the close-heartedness of those who are as yet unteachable and into the loving embrace of Christ.
To move forward, remember that the Holy Spirit is the only one who can prepare a heart to receive Jesus. When we try to bring someone to Jesus and fail, we're not really failing; we're planting seeds rather than harvesting the crop. Let the Holy Spirit finish his work while you move on to other fields.
Questions for Personal Reflection:
Who is frustrating you because he/she is not willing to change? What can you do to "walk away" lovingly and to give yourself a break? (It might not be a literal departure.)
Questions for Family & Community Faith Sharing:
Share the story of a time when someone rejected you because you spoke the truth. How did you feel about it? Did you walk away? How did (or might) the Holy Spirit work on that person's heart to prepare them to eventually accept the truth?
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© 2010 by Terry A. Modica
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