Choosing for the One Rejected

(from the 2010 Magnificat Lenten Companion)

Spiritual blindness is never a matter simply of ignorance about the truth. The phrase implies a cause in sinful choices, a lack of recognition due to persistence in sin. In today's Gospel, Jesus quotes the sharp prophetic warning of Psalm 118: "The stone which the builders rejected has become the cornerstone." He is of course the stone referred to, and the rejection is the eventual decision of the Jewish leaders to seek his crucifixion from the Roman governor Pilate. This determination of the Sanhedrin to murder Jesus ought not to be thought simply a bad mistake, a miscalculation that might have been avoided with better judgment; nor excused as an inevitable action because prophesied. Real men of real malice held Jesus long in contempt before they brought false accusations against him and settled his fate. It was a final rejection preceded by persevering hatred. Only short-sightedness, however, would view this rejection of Jesus Christ as limited to Jewish leaders of this period. All who renounce Jesus Christ are implicated throughout history; just as all who deny Christ in fear echo Peter's denials; just as all who avoide loyally following Christ and his Church flee like the apostles from the hardship of the cross. Always we are free to choose. Let us choose firmly once again our absolute fidelity to our Lord and his passion.

Reflection based on Matthew 21: 33-43, 45-46
Father Donald Haggerty

Father in heaven, grant me the grace to deepen my faithfulness
to you and your Church during these holy days of Lent.

Today's suggested penance: Spend ten minutes praying before the Blessed Sacrament.