First Reading: Job 3:1-3, 11-17, 20-23
Responsorial Psalm: Psalm 88
Gospel: Luke 9:51-56
When the days for Jesus to be taken up were fulfilled, he resolutely determined to journey to Jerusalem, and he sent messengers ahead of him. On the way they entered a Samaritan village to prepare for his reception there, but they would not welcome him because the destination of his journey was Jerusalem. When the disciples James and John saw this they asked, "Lord, do you want us to call down fire from heaven to consume them?" Jesus turned and rebuked them, and they journeyed to another village. (Lk. 9:51-56)
Does it seem today that Jesus and Job are both having a bad day? Job is feeling rejected and doesn't even want to go on living, while Jesus is actually rejected from the Samaritans during His journey. Rejection is a very hard feeling to deal with, think about the last time you were rejected, how did it feel? It seems as though when we are rejected we want to feel angry, hurt, resentful, and vengeful.
Today with Jesus and Job we see two different reactions to rejection. Job feels lots of self pity, and goes on cursing his existence. This is like when we go around telling everyone how rotten our luck is. Jesus, however, takes a different approach. He doesn't get angry, or resentful, or vengeful (although His disciples became that way). No, Jesus just shakes it off and continues about His journey. Now which reaction would you guess is the better and healthier choice?
The reality is, is that we are all going to go through difficult trials in our lives, and we are going to feel rejected by many people, we may even feel like God is punishing us and rejecting us at times. But God is not like that, while others may reject and not accept us, He always does. Just because we may go through times in our life where we feel alone and that our lives are full of chaos, He is still there loving us and being there for us. There is always a reason for our suffering, it is just that we may never know that reason; or we are not able to understand that reason.
So our reaction to rejection and to all difficult challenges in our lives should be to simply shake it off and just keep on thanking and praising God for our lives. Our merciful God loves us so much, and wants to see us be peaceful and joyful in Him. It is not enough to just thank Him and praise Him when things are good, but we must give Him thanks and praise at all times!
Father above, we thank you for the gift of our lives. We ask that your will be done in our lives. Give us the strength and courage to follow you no matter what challenges you bring in front of us. Lord send your spirit to guide us and to help us in our lives. Lord, we pray for all those who are suffering, help them to see the fruits of their suffering and help them to offer it up for others. We ask this all through Christ our Lord. Amen.