14TH WEEK IN ORDINARY TIME
Ps 105:1-2, 3-4, 6-7
Be glad you lowly ones; may your hearts be glad!
Psalter: Week 1 / (White)
St. Bonaventure, bishop & doctor / Memorial of Blessed Virgin Mary
1st Reading: Gen 49:29-32; 50:15-26a
He then gave them these instructions: “I am soon to be gathered to my people; bury me near my fathers, in the cave in the field of Ephron, the Hittite; in the cave in the field of Machpelah, to the east of Mamre in Canaan, the field that Abraham bought from Ephron the Hittite as a burial place. It was there that Abraham and his wife Sarah were buried. There they buried Leah. The field and the cave in it were purchased from the Hittites.”
When Joseph’s brothers realized that their father was dead they said, “What if Joseph turns against us in hate because of the evil we did him?” So they sent word to Joseph saying, “Before he died your father told us to say this to you: Please forgive the crime and the sin of your brothers in doing evil to you. Forgive the crime of the servants of your father’s God.” When he was given the message, Joseph wept. His brothers went and threw themselves down before him. “We are your slaves,” they said. But Joseph reassured them, “Don’t be afraid! Am I in the place of God? You intended to do me harm, but God intended to turn it to good in order to bring about what is happening today—the survival of many people. So have no fear! I will provide for you and your little ones.” In this way he touched their hearts and consoled them.
Joseph remained in Egypt together with all his father’s family. He lived for a hundred and ten years, long enough to see Ephraim’s great-grandchildren, and also to have the children of Machir, the son of Manasseh, placed on his knees after their birth.
Then Joseph said to his brothers, “I am going to die, but God will surely remember you and take you from this country to the land he promised to Abraham, Isaac and Jacob.” Joseph then made the sons of Israel swear, saying, “When God comes to bring you out from here, carry my bones with you.” Joseph died at the age of one hundred and ten; they embalmed him and laid him in a coffin in Egypt.
Gospel: Mt 10:24-33
A student is not above his teacher, nor a slave above his master. A student should be content to become like his teacher, and the slave like his master. If the head of the household has been called Beelzebul, how much more, those of his household! So, do not be afraid of them!
There is nothing covered that will not be uncovered. There is nothing hidden that will not be made known. What I am telling you in the dark, you must speak in the light. What you hear in private, proclaim from the housetops.
Do not be afraid of those who kill the body, but have no power to kill the soul. Rather, be afraid of him who can destroy both body and soul in hell. For a few cents you can buy two sparrows. Yet not one sparrow falls to the ground without your Father knowing. As for you, every hair of your head has been counted. Do not be afraid: you are worth more than many sparrows!
Whoever acknowledges me before others, I will acknowledge before my Father in heaven. Whoever rejects me before others, I will reject before my Father in heaven.
“Do not be afraid…!“ All of us have our own fears. These can be real or “manufactured“ by social forces like the various means of social communication. We are afraid of rejection, failure, old age, persecution, sickness and death. The Lord reminds us in today’s Gospel not to allow fear to cripple us, hence preventing us from continuing the mission entrusted to us. It is possible that, out of fear, we are tempted to water down God’s message or give up proclaiming it altogether. Giving in to fear is the result of a weakened faith. Jesus’ example is instructive. He spoke out fearlessly against evil. Nothing intimidated him. Even his enemies admired his courage. He had full trust and confidence in the Father.
The Lord assures us that if we place our trust in God’s power and providence, there is no reason for us to be anxious or scared of anything or anyone. When we commit ourselves to doing God’s work, we are assured that He will never abandon us. We are “worth more than many sparrows.“ He cares about us in a way we may never be able to fully understand. We can draw inspiration from St. Alphonsus Liguori who once said: “When did it ever happen that a man had confidence in God and was lost?“
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Biblical Texts are taken from Christian Community Bible, Catholic Pastoral Edition (57th Edition) The New English Translation for the ROMAN MISSAL
With permission from the EPISCOPAL COMMISION ON LITURGY of the Catholic Bishops’ Conference of the Philippines
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