These twelve Jesus sent out with the following instructions: “Go nowhere among the Gentiles, and enter no town of the Samaritans, but go rather to the lost sheep of the house of Israel. As you go, proclaim the good news, ‘The kingdom of heaven has come near.’ Cure the sick, raise the dead, cleanse the lepers, cast out demons. You received without payment; give without payment. Take no gold, or silver, or copper in your belts, no bag for your journey, or two tunics, or sandals, or a staff; for laborers deserve their food. Whatever town or village you enter, find out who in it is worthy, and stay there until you leave. As you enter the house, greet it. If the house is worthy, let your peace come upon it; but if it is not worthy, let your peace return to you. If anyone will not welcome you or listen to your words, shake off the dust from your feet as you leave that house or town. Truly I tell you, it will be more tolerable for the land of Sodom and Gomorrah on the day of judgment than for that town.
Many of us have known failure and pain in our lives, and have experienced rejection…in today’s gospel reading Jesus reminds us that rejection is part of life, and that there are times when we should simply shake the dust from our feet and keep moving forward.
Of course it’s easy for Jesus to tell us that rejection is something we can just shake off, but harder for us to accept his wisdom, as rejection can hurt!
Then again, we have to admit that Jesus did know a lot about rejection, and he learned how to handle it from hard experience; even people in his hometown rejected him, and tried to throw him off of a cliff! But Jesus also had a lot of support and faith to help him to handle the rejection he faced…and it is this faith that he shares with us: faith in the power of God’s grace and love! Of course we are not Jesus, and do not always handle rejection well, as we can find it difficult to shake off the dust from our feet and move on; however, if we can follow what Jesus said in today’s gospel it would be better for us, as wallowing in our pain is not very helpful.
As single parents, rejection can come to us in many forms, such as broken romantic relationships, or rejection from jobs, financial reverses and a lack of acceptance due to our status as single parents. There are also times when we may feel rejected or left out by family and friends, and even our children…especially when they tell us “no”, or lash out at us in frustration or anger!
When facing these, or other, rejections , we can look to the example of Jesus, and see how he handled rejection: by shaking the dust from his feet and forgiving those who had wronged him, so he could continue to move forward, and his example can help us to do the same.
Why is it so important to let go of our rejection and to forgive those who hurt us? Because a grudge is too heavy a burden to carry, it slows us down too much, and can stop us from moving forward, which is the best direction to travel when raising children…or seeking to grow ourselves.
Let us Pray
God, help us to let go of our resentments and to forgive those who have hurt us. Help us not waste our time and energy carrying a grudge – which can only slow us down. Please help us find freedom in forgiveness, so that we can move forward with our children, one step at a time.