Think about those times in your life when you have felt inspired to something really great. Where does that inspiration come from?
The Holy Spirit. God inspires us to do great things with our lives.
----Matthew Kelly

Welcome to The Not So Perfect Catholic!

Disclaimer: I am not a theologian, just a Catholic empty-nester trying to figure it all out. The views on this blog are my own.

Finding Peace and Joy in the Midst of Rejection

Rejection. Paul and Barnabas were thrown out of the city because of their preaching. They were rejected by their own people, so they turned to the Gentiles who drank up all they said and relished that the tables had turned- they now had a chance at salvation if they truly believed that Jesus died for our sins and that he rose-just like Scriptures said He would.

Feeling Joy After Rejection?

How did Paul and Barnabas deal with that rejection?  They shook the dust from their feet in protest against them and went to Iconium. The disciples were filled with joy and the Holy Spirit.  (Acts 13:51-52) Rejection is a part of life. No one can escape it. Jesus even knew how it felt to be rejected. What a great example of how we should deal with it! It's easier said than done, to "shake the dust off our sandals", or in other words, to disassociate with those who reject us. Or, to just say, "Yes, I'm hurt/bothered by the rejection, but obviously, God has other plans for me." It's really hard to feel joy after being so hurt from rejection.

Inexpressible Peace and Interior Freedom

Paul and Barnabas were in it together. They had each other to lean on, and they had the presence of Jesus. We have that presence as well, as long as we can put our trust in Him and let his love shine through. He will give us peace if we trust in Him. Father Jacques Philippe in Searching for and Maintaining Peace says "...he who accepts to put everything into the hands of God, to allow Him to give and take according to His good pleasure, this individual finds an inexpressible peace and interior freedom." THAT is what Paul and Barnabas had and that's why they were "filled with joy and the Holy Spirit". Yes, it's harder for us because Paul and Barnabas saw Jesus first-hand. But isn't that the beauty of faith? To believe what we haven't seen. To believe because those who have gone before us didn't stop when they were rejected. They knew there would be people who wouldn't believe them. They knew there would be people who were scared of what they were saying. They responded by shrugging their shoulders and maintaining their peace.

Accepting the Rejection

We have that same choice: to turn away or to stay joyful. In those times of rejection, may we turn to Jesus and say "Yes, Lord. I accept the rejection because it turns me back to You and helps me to maintain my peace and joy."
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