Scripture Reading: 1 Samuel. 8:7-9
Rejection is one of the bitter experiences of life. Before any rejection, there is a presupposed friendship based on contract or covenant. Rejection is born out of disregard of one to the other of whom one had been in good friendship with before the non-acceptance. In most cases, one rejects something for another. Child of God, have you rejected the Lord for love or gain of anything? What is it? Is it your job, alcohol, friends, sex, husband, or wife or what? You must note that every rejection is an act of betrayal. Betrayal of love and trust; betrayal of good things shared together, of things shared in common. So, in this regard you can also talk of betrayal of good things to come. Whenever and wherever betrayal occurs, there is a bitter and hateful feeling on the part of one and by extension this is being expressed to the other in words or actions.
Today, the Holy Spirit asks, “Is it you that has rejected the Lord or is it the Lord that rejected you?” Is it God that has broken His Covenant or you? Remember that, God is ever faithful. He is the ever faithful one. At times we humans may be unfaithful, but, God remains ever faithful. He has never failed before, He is not failing now and He will not fail in time to come.
Our scripture reference of today presents to us the case of the rejection of Samuel by the people of Israel because of his old age, and in a bid to become like other nations. The people of Israel demanded for a king of their own. While God asked Samuel to listen, He told him to let the people of Israel know that it is the Lord that they have rejected as their king and not him, Samuel. How many times do we reject the authority of priests, prophets, teachers and kings that God has appointed and ordained by Himself to shepherd us? Is it not true that we often prefer to choose a preacher, prophet, priest and king of our own as different from God’s? We must note that, each time we do this for any reason, we are rejecting the authority of God over us. For, the prophet, priest, teacher and/or king did not appoint himself nor send himself. It is the Lord! The message he proclaims is the Lord’s and not his. And oftentimes it does not suit us. Rather, they challenge our ways of living. If we accept the men of God sent to us and the messages they proclaim or preach to us, we would be better for it; for it is through their messages that we encounter the Lord and are able to appreciate His will in our lives. But, when we reject true priests, teachers, prophets and kings that God ordained to lead and guide us, there is no way we would not miss the road; the road to righteous living. In v. 8, the Lord God laments about Israel saying,
“Ever since I brought them out of Egypt, they have turned away from me and worshipped other gods; and now they are doing to you what they have always done to me. So then, listen to them, but give them strict warnings and explain how their kings will treat them.”
Beloved, anytime you turn from the leadership, worship and service of the living God, you commit idolatry even though you may not have brought in charms into your house, erected shrines or worshiped the golden statue of a calf or the god of fertility like the people of Israel. Your own idols may be your husband or wife, car, motor bike, house, job or career, alcohol, sex, money or wealth, or any worldly thing. Saul was rejected as king of Israel because of disobedience. Each time we betray God’s love, He rejects us and we suffer grievously for it. Let us, therefore learn to be obedient and show love for Him in all we do.
2 Mac 7: 1-2. 9-14; Ps 17: 1. 5-6. 8. 15 (15b); 2 Thess. 2: 16 —3: 5; Accl Rev 1:5a.6b; Lk 20: 27-38
THIRTY-SECOND SUNDAY IN ORDINARY TIME
- Appreciate God for opening your eyes to the danger of rejecting Him and His chosen leaders.
- Ask for mercy, pardon and forgiveness for the many times you have rejected God and His chosen leaders.
- Pray for transformation for the Church of God to be always guided by wise and holy leaders who will lead people to God.
- Pray for the gift of docility to the Holy Spirit, that you champion God’s reign on earth.
- Pray that the good news will reach where God’s reign is yet to be profoundly felt.
Exercise: Resolve to re-enact your communion with God by reaching out to someone who is rejected around you.
Memory Verse: Ps. 94:14