March 10, Friday of the Second Week of Lent
Genesis 37:3-4, 12-13a, 17b-28a, Matthew 21:33-43, 45-46
Rejection is indeed a demeaning experience. It makes us focus more on our shortcomings and question why we are not good enough. Today, we are called to choose love over hate in the face of rejection as we reflect on the life of Joseph the Dreamer and Jesus Christ Himself.
Joseph was Jacob’s most favored child among his twelve sons. In the First Reading, we revisit the moment when he was sold to the Ishmaelites by his envious brothers for twenty pieces of silver. Many years later, the person they discarded would become their sole chance of surviving the time of severe famine. Joseph set aside his resentment towards his family and saved them all in his capacity as vizier of Egypt. He gave them grain to eat and lands to call home. The brother they rejected ultimately became their source of hope.
In the Gospel, we hear Jesus’ Parable of the Wicked Husbandmen that highlights His Messianic role in the Paschal Mystery. The story parallels how God sent countless prophets to echo His message to Israel, but the people rejected and even murdered them. In the end, the Father sends His beloved Son, only to be rejected as well and suffer the most humiliating death on the cross.
In fact, Jesus’ entire life was full of rejections. When He returned to Nazareth, the people tried to push him off a cliff. When He was arrested at Gethsemane, His apostles went into hiding and one betrayed Him. And even on the night of the First Christmas, Mary and Joseph were refused to be accommodated innkeepers, and the Son of God had to be born in an uncomfortable manger.
After all these hurtful moments, Jesus chose to remain true to the will of God. He repaid rejection with mercy, and His extraordinary gesture of love made Him the cornerstone of our Church and faith. The Lord shows us that there is always a way to get back up whenever people turn us down or push us away. Because there is no better way to counter rejection than breaking our hearts open and loving even more.
Radio Veritas Asia (RVA), a media platform of the Catholic Church, aims to share Christ. RVA started in 1969 as a continental Catholic radio station to serve Asian countries in their respective local language, thus earning the tag “the Voice of Asian Christianity.” Responding to the emerging context, RVA embraced media platforms to connect with the global Asian audience via its 21 language websites and various social media platforms.