REJECTION: A Reflection from the Christian Traditions Posted October 3, 2020 by admin@interfaith


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October 3, 2020
A Reflection from the Christian Traditions
Matthew 21:33-46
by Thomas P. Bonacci, C.P.
Rejection is a terrible thing.  I hope and pray none of you ever experienced the pain and anguish of rejection.  I suspect you did.  It is almost impossible to go through life and not. 
I remember when I was a little boy venturing out into the World.  I wanted to join a neighborhood baseball team but, not being very good at sports, I was rejected.  The only consolation I had was the company of other kids who had been rejected as well.  We became best friends forming a science club and running off to the library and museums on weekends.  We found our niche the hard way.  I think about that little gang of would be scientists and literary explorers but often imagine I won the game I was never invited to play.
It breaks my heart to live in a time when powerful people would rather build a wall than welcome a stranger, would rather separate an immigrant child from her parents than shelter them with love, would rather insult than uplift.  It breaks my heart to witness so many people being rejected.
We have a long history of rejecting people.  Think of the indigenous people, the people of color, and even our own ancestors who suffered scorn and rejection.  Sometimes, in name of what we say we believe, we reject other people because of the uniqueness of their beliefs or the ways they express their love for others.  Even peacemakers Jesus called “blessed” have and do suffer rejection. 
Jesus himself, like so many great people, suffered rejection because he uplifted the rejected, welcomed the stranger, and became a friend of his would be enemy.  Jesus became more and more tender and open to others as he suffered more and more rejection and scorn.  He might have something to say to us today.
If any of us have ever suffered rejection, we know some things.  We know the pain of rejection and the hurt it causes.  Why would we ever do to another person what we ourselves abhor?  Why would we ever allow anyone to reject or hurt another person in our name?  The time has come to put our faith where our heart is by opening the doors of our hearts to the rejected and hurt of this World. 
Jesus taught a parable inspired by the Prophet Isaiah (Matthew 21: 33-46).  The parable was about the treasure the powerful and cruel rejected.  Jesus said the “stone rejected by the builders has become the keystone!” (see Matthew 21: 42).  I have come to believe that the rejected people of today are the keystone to our future as a compassionate and welcoming World where all can live in peace and dignity with self-respect and a sense of serenity.
The politics of rejection cannot long endure.  No Church can survive unless it welcomes those with no place to go.  No community can possibly survive unless it finds in others the essence of its future, namely, the welcoming of others.
As Covid-19 rages in the land and threatens the World, we are realizing how much we need one another for comfort, healing, support, and hope.  We cannot, or better, should not waste these precious moments strategizing how to reject people.  We are in this situation together and together we can do what no one of us can do alone.
Blessings and peace to you, Holy Community.