Christ the Reject
This Sunday’s parable about anger and violent rejection of Christ was originally used to illustrate Christ’s rejection by the chief priests and scribes. But the parable is as valid today as it was in Jesus’ time, and it can be applied to ordinary people and not just religious leaders. All too often, we see Christ’s values openly rejected in our society today. Have you ever tried speaking about the sanctity of life and then get all sorts of abuse from those who advocate abortion and euthanasia? Or how about expressing the Church’s views on same sex marriage only to be labelled as a bigot? There are those whose fury is ignited as soon as the Church is mentioned. They see the Church as the cause of so much pain and suffering in the world.
But this Sunday’s Gospel also offers hope and comfort. “The stone rejected by the builders became the keystone,” it says. Christ the reject is an icon of hope for all victims of rejection, abuse, violence or injustice. The rejected figure on the cross has become the source of risen life. This is indeed God’s doing and it is wonderful to see. Jesus himself said that his followers will be rejected by others. But all we can do is carry on preaching what we know to be true. To practise what we believe. Trying to argue rationally with irrational anger is a waste of time. We should, as Jesus instructs his disciples, dust off our feet and spare the voice-box. If we never tire of being the lights of Christ in this dark world of ours, we cannot fail to draw people to us and, ultimately, to Christ.