The story is told about a husband who looked so forlorn and rejected. When asked why, he said: “My wife and I had a fight. This morning, she asked for her lipstick and I unintentionally handed her the glue stick. Up to now she is not talking to me.”
In today’s Gospel (Mt. 21, 33-43), Jesus tells us that rejection is part of a mission. “The stone which the builders rejected has become the cornerstone; by the Lord has this been done, and it is wonderful in our eyes.” Consider it a privilege when you experience rejection, persecution, oppression, or being misjudged or misunderstood in any way. We take courage from the words of our Master who said that we are blessed when we are insulted or persecuted because of Him.
Today is Indigenous People Sunday. For the longest time, indigenous peoples have experienced all forms of rejection and oppression in blatant or subtle ways. Let us be sensitive to and be respectful of everyone. All people have rights. May we have respect, understanding and compassion toward one another.
Today’s parable ends with a clear note that God Himself will defend and restore justice to those who are aggrieved. Divine justice is slow, but surely it will come. Goodness will triumph over evil in the end. God does not sleep. In time, in His time, the good will be rewarded, and the evil will be punished.
Life is just leased to us by God. No one has the right to take life away from us. “Vintage time” is reserved for God alone. It is He and He alone who decides when and whom to harvest.
Psalm 146 tells us to focus on and trust the Lord as we go through this valley of tears and fears: “Put no trust in princes, in mortal men in whom there is no help. Take their breath, they return to clay and their plans that day come to nothing.” Let God be God, let man be man.
After Jesus died on the cross, the disciples disbanded and were gripped with fear. And it was the Blessed Mother who rallied them to regroup, and reminded them of their original vision and mission. It is our Blessed Mother who calls us again, especially during these trying times, to be strong, to be steadfast, and not to lose hope. Our Mother tells us today: “I am here. I am your Mother. Do not fear. I am near.”
Gone too soon. Fr. Ed Orpilla, SVD, has gone home to the heavenly Father at the age of 55. Father Ed is from Candon, Ilocos Sur, and has spent most of his 23 years of priestly life in pastoral work in Mindoro. His last assignment was as parish priest of the Shrine of St. Arnold Janssen in Cainta, Rizal. Father Ed reminds all of us that indeed, life is short, so let us not postpone our conversion and our loving.
Grateful at 64. Yes, I am grateful for the gift of life, and for the mission done, and yet to come. I would like to thank the following who helped in our birthday fundraising dinner and program last Oct 1: “Moments with Fr. Jerry” Foundation, Mission Angels, Dik & Nitz Trofeo, Adrian Panganiban, Maita Martinez, Prince Biñas, Fatima Soriano, Franco Aquino, Christopher de Leon, Michaelangelo Lobrin, Pinky Marquez, Ivy Violan, George Tagle, Madonna Decena, Sherwin Sozon, Lucky Robles, and Jonathan Badon.
Think about this: “Have I not commanded you? Be strong and courageous; do not be afraid; do not be discouraged; for the Lord God is with you wherever you go” (Joshua 1:9).
A moment with the Lord:
Lord, help us to be strong and courageous especially when we are rejected or persecuted. Amen.
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