Deacon’s Reflections

 Sunday 26 June 2022; 13th Sunday of Ordinary Time; Year C

How to Handle Rejection

How well do you handle rejection?

This 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 Saviour of the world.

The disciples who travelled with Jesus didn’t like rejection any more than we do. 

Two of his closest friends, James and John, thought they would do Jesus a favour by asking, “Do you want us to call down 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 from 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.

This includes the grudges we like to hold and our desire to deal with rejection by retaliating. 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 unreachable.

We’re moving 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 the work while you move on to other fields

Tony Felton

Deacon, St Benet’s, Beccles.

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