Monday, February 25, 2008

Priere Du Jour - Prayer of the Day!!!!

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Prayer and Devotions

Rejected at Homecoming
by Matthew Reinhardt, Regnum Christi

Resolution: Be joyful in experiencing rejection today. Have faith in Christ.

February 25, 2008
Monday of the third week of Lent

Luke 4: 24-30
And he said, "Truly I tell you, no prophet is accepted in the prophet's hometown. But the truth is, there were many widows in Israel in the time of Elijah, when the heaven was shut up three years and six months, and there was a severe famine over all the land; yet Elijah was sent to none of them except to a widow at Zarephath in Sidon. There were also many lepers in Israel in the time of the prophet Elisha, and none of them was cleansed except Naaman the Syrian. "When they heard this, all in the synagogue were filled with rage. They got up, drove him out of the town, and led him to the brow of the hill on which their town was built, so that they might hurl him off the cliff. But he passed through the midst of them and went on his way.

Introductory Prayer: Lord Jesus, I am aware of your presence; you are right next to me and dwelling within my soul. I believe you are my Lord and my God, and I place my trust in you because you are all-powerful. I love you, Jesus, because I was created by you and for you. Help me prove my love through great effort in this prayer.

Petition: Lord, give me resilience when faced with rejection.

1. Rejected From his birth to his death, Christ’s life was plagued with rejection. There was no room for him at the inn in Bethlehem, and he was cast off into the cold night. Herod feared his kingship and sent an army to kill the babe, and so he was exiled to Egypt. Rejected by the Pharisees, the Sadducees, the scribes and the Synagogues, “he came to his own and his own did not receive him” (John 1:11). The list goes on and on: the rich young man, Judas, Pilate, the Roman soldiers, and even one of those crucified next to him. In this passage the people of his own town (and among them surely some of his relatives) want to “hurl him off the cliff.” Christ and his message were signs of contradiction, and this often brought rejection. The same holds true today. Christ wants me to be ready for it. Am I?

2. Emboldened Effort in prayer is a sure way to prepare myself for the everyday “rejection” that comes with following Christ. These “rejections” come in many shapes and sizes: the consequences of faithfully living out the teachings of my Catholic faith, justly disciplining a disobedient child, standing up for an unpopular truth among family and friends, or simply speaking of God in a casual encounter with someone at the grocery store. With Christ by my side I can be resilient in front of any type of rejection. He taught me the way to respond to rejection as “he passed through the midst of them and went on his way.” Rejection did not cause our Lord to shrink into himself but rather emboldened him to continue living and preaching his message of love.

3. Passionate What does Christ do after being rejected in his hometown? In the very next passage, St. Luke presents him teaching in Capernaum, where “they were astonished at his teaching for his word was with authority” (Luke 4:31-32). Our Lord never missed a beat: not only was he emboldened by rejection, but he preached with ever greater passion and zeal after experiencing it. St. Paul confronted rejection in a similar way. On one occasion he was dragged out of the city of Lystra and stoned. All thought he was dead. He wasn’t, and upon waking up, he returned to the city and continued his ministry (cf. Acts 14:19-20). This is the type of apostle Christ needs in today’s world, and I am called to be his apostle.

Conversation with Christ: “Who shall separate us from the love of Christ? Shall tribulation, or distress, or persecution, or famine, or nakedness or peril or the sword? For I am sure that neither death, nor life, nor angels, nor principalities, nor things present, nor things to come, nor powers, nor height, nor depth, nor anything else in all creation will be able to separate us from the love of God in Christ Jesus our Lord” (Romans 8:35-39).

Resolution: I will take joy in some rejection, large or small, I experience today because of my faith in Christ.

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