JULY 10. Ord Time B. Wk.14. Sat. Mt. 10. 24-33
Updated: Sep 10
Jesus instructed the Twelve as follows: ‘The disciple is not superior to his teacher, nor the slave to his master. It is enough for the disciple that he should grow to be like his teacher, and the slave like his master. If they have called the master of the house Beelzebul, what will they not say of his household?
‘Do not be afraid of them therefore. For everything that is now covered will be uncovered, and everything now hidden will be made clear. What I say to you in the dark, tell in the daylight; what you hear in whispers, proclaim from the housetops.
‘Do not be afraid of those who kill the body but cannot kill the soul; fear him rather who can destroy both body and soul in hell. Can you not buy two sparrows for a penny? And yet not one falls to the ground without your Father knowing. Why, every hair on your head has been counted. So there is no need to be afraid; you are worth more than hundreds of sparrows.
‘So if anyone declares himself for me in the presence of men, I will declare myself for him in the presence of my Father in heaven. But the one who disowns me in the presence of men, I will disown in the presence of my Father in heaven.’
At the heart of today’s reading is the truth that Jesus Christ is both a man like us, and the Son of God! What follows from this truth is that, as Christians, and disciples, we should not expect to fare better, or do better in our earthly life, than Jesus did.
This might seem an obvious truth to state, but do not many Christians, either secretly or openly, wish to lead a “better”; - “more comfortable” or “successful” life than the one lived by our teacher? While professing to be a follower of Christ, do we not also want to have all our wishes and desires satisfied?
And how many of us really “desire” to endure significant sufferings in reparation for our sins, and the sins of the world? And how many of us generously “embrace” our sufferings as Christ did; - in order to bear witness to our Faith and our Love; - of both God and Neighbour?
If Jesus was seen as a friend of the Devil by the community leaders of his time (see July 6 reading); - why is it we want to be seen as someone who is admired and respected by those around us? Christ was rejected by so many of those he tried to teach and help; - but we want to be admired and respected; - while still being seen as one of his friends and followers?
Like Christ, his true followers will be rejected by their community because of their values and beliefs, but we are being told today “Do not be afraid of them; - they may be able to kill the body (as they did to Christ!) but they cannot kill the soul; - fear him rather who can put both the body and soul in Hell!”
What Christ is pointing out to us today is, rather than focusing on what we want in this earthly life; - our focus should be as his was; - on the Will of God and the state of our soul when our time on earth comes to an end. Christ wanted nothing this world has to offer, focusing instead on his relationship with the Father, both now and in eternity!
Our concern on earth should be to imitate Christ; - “If anyone declares himself for me in the presence of men, I will declare myself for him in the presence of my Father in heaven!”
Gospel Acclamation 1P4:14
If you are insulted for the name of Christ, blessed are you,
for the Spirit of God rests upon you.
First reading Genesis 49:29-33,50:15-26 'God has turned the evil you plan into good'
Jacob gave his sons these instructions, ‘I am about to be gathered to my people. Bury me near my fathers, in the cave that is in the field of Ephron the Hittite, in the cave in the field at Machpelah, opposite Mamre, in the land of Canaan, which Abraham bought from Ephron the Hittite as a burial-plot. There Abraham was buried and his wife Sarah. There Isaac was buried and his wife Rebekah. There I buried Leah. I mean the field and the cave in it that were bought from the sons of Heth.’
When Jacob had finished giving his instructions to his sons, he drew his feet up into the bed, and breathing his last was gathered to his people.
Seeing that their father was dead, Joseph’s brothers said, ‘What if Joseph intends to treat us as enemies and repay us in full for all the wrong we did him?’ So they sent this message to Joseph: ‘Before your father died he gave us this order: “You must say to Joseph: Oh forgive your brothers their crime and their sin and all the wrong they did you.” Now therefore, we beg you, forgive the crime of the servants of your father’s God.’ Joseph wept at the message they sent to him.
His brothers came themselves and fell down before him. ‘We present ourselves before you’ they said ‘as your slaves.’ But Joseph answered them, ‘Do not be afraid; is it for me to put myself in God’s place? The evil you planned to do me has by God’s design been turned to good, that he might bring about, as indeed he has, the deliverance of a numerous people. So you need not be afraid; I myself will provide for you and your dependants.’ In this way he reassured them with words that touched their hearts.
So Joseph stayed in Egypt with his father’s family; and Joseph lived a hundred and ten years. Joseph saw the third generation of Ephraim’s children, as also the children of Machir, Manasseh’s son, who were born on Joseph’s lap. At length Joseph said to his brothers, ‘I am about to die; but God will be sure to remember you kindly and take you back from this country to the land that he promised on oath to Abraham, Isaac and Jacob.’ And Joseph made Israel’s sons swear an oath, ‘When God remembers you with kindness be sure to take my bones from here.’
Joseph died at the age of a hundred and ten; they embalmed him and laid him in his coffin in Egypt.