Rejection and Invitation of Christ
The ultimate sin that a person can commit is to reject Christ. The New Testament Greek word for reject is apodokimazō. It means to examine something first and deliberately reject it. It is sort of a premeditated repudiation! In modern times we have many more sources of information than our forefathers had. We can get very arrogant and think if I don’t understand the great mystery of the Incarnation then it is not true.
Another Scriptural word for rejection of Christ is exoudeneō. This word has rejection with strong idea of contempt. It comes from the Greek word for nothing. The most wonderful work of God in Jesus in whole universe is treated as nothing. Mk 9:12. What an incredible insult to God!
I think one of the most common ways in our times for rejection of the massive love of God for us is agnosticism. An agnostic is a person who excuses himself from responding to God because he does not know Him. But even pagans raised an altar to the “Unknown God”.
Agnosticism is a very dangerous way of losing the greatest treasure of our lives! It is seemingly a valid excuse for rejecting God’s wedding invitation inviting us into Divine intimacy! In reality it is prideful answer that ignores our small brains and hearts from the ability of ever receiving such a great God by our own abilities. We must beg God to open our eyes and enlarge our hearts as He did to the disciples at Emmaus. In short, we must humble ourselves before the mighty hand of God. James in 4:10 tells us: “Humble yourselves before the Lord, and he will lift you up.”
Pope Francis in his beautiful exhortation “Joy of the Gospel” writes: I invite all Christians, everywhere, at this very moment, to a renewed personal encounter with Jesus Christ, or at least an openness to letting him encounter them; I ask all of you to do this unfailingly each day. No one should think that this invitation is not meant for him or her, since “no one is excluded from the joy brought by the Lord”
“The Lord does not disappoint those who take this risk; whenever we take a step towards Jesus, we come to realize that he is already there, waiting for us with open arms. Now is the time to say to Jesus: “Lord, I have let myself be deceived; in a thousand ways I have shunned your love, yet here I am once more, to renew my covenant with you. I need you. Save me once again, Lord, take me once more into your redeeming embrace”.#3
Fr. Bob Weiss, C.P. preaches Parish Missions and is a member of the Passionist Community in Louisville, Kentucky.