Mass Readings: April 6

First: Isaiah 49:8-15
Resp: Psalm 145:8-9,13-14,17-18
Gospel: John 5:17-30

THE MOST REJECTED PERSON

"But Zion said, 'The Lord has forsaken me; my Lord has forgotten me.' Can a mother forget her infant, be without tenderness for the child of her womb? Even should she forget, I will never forget you." –Isaiah 49:14-15

The Israelites were so traumatized by their defeat at the hands of the Babylonian army and subsequent exile into Babylon that they thought God had forsaken them, but it was just the opposite. They had forsaken God.

So many people have forsaken the Lord by their sins. Jesus, Who has never forsaken or rejected anyone (Jn 6:37), was and is the most forsaken Person in all of history. He is "the Stone Which the builders rejected" (Ps 118:22). Jesus was so forsaken that He gasped and screamed on Calvary, "My God, My God, why have You forsaken Me?" (Mt 27:46)

Jesus even felt forsaken by His Father. So the question is not: "Why has the Lord forsaken me?" but "Why have I forsaken the Lord and even continued holding Him up to contempt?" (see Heb 6:6)

We may not explicitly forsake the Lord, but like Simon Peter we give Him the "silent treatment" (see Lk 22:57ff). We act as if we're ashamed of the gospel (Rm 1:16). We refuse to be Jesus' witnesses (see Acts 1:8). We ignore His will and do our own thing. Yet even when everyone forsakes Jesus, He will never forsake us (see Is 49:15). The Lord loves us unconditionally. Love Him back. Repent of rejecting Him. Accept Him as Lord.

PRAYER: Father, this Lent help me to make reparation for years of rejecting You.
PROMISE: "I judge as I hear, and My judgment is honest because I am not seeking My own will but the will of Him Who sent Me." –Jn 5:30
PRAISE: Although most of his family reject Mark as a religious fanatic, he continues to pray for them daily.