Daily Readings Reflection for 6/25/09

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Reflection on the Daily Readings for 6/25/09 by Fr. Bertrand Buby, SM

Today’s Readings

Scripture: Thurs of 4th week. Genesis 16:1-12.15-16. Psalm 106L
1-2.3-4.4-5. Matthew 7:21-29. Lectionary # 374:

Jealousy is one of the greatest obstacles to friendships and relationships
both within the family, or a religious community, or with other friends
both on our part and on theirs.  A special occasion or especially a death
in a family bring this out and we experience the dreaded effect of jealousy
which often can be based on greed.Last will and testaments are sometimes
the underlying factor in the fomenting of jealousy.  It is not easy to
shake off or to get rid of in ourselves and evenmoreso in others.  We see
that even our princess in faith, Sarai the wife of Abram, is guilty of
cruel jealousy toward Hagar.  Hagar, in turn, has prompted this in Sarai
because of Hagar’s pride in having Abram’s child while his wife is without
child.  You know the story well both then and now.

Sarai will abuse the slave-woman to the point of her fleeing her wrath and
is lost in a barren place till an angel of the Lord tells her to return to
Sarai and Abram.  Meanwhile, Sarai blames Abram for the whole affair
between the two women. He may be a milktoast despite his being the Father
of all faiths in the Lord God!  (Sorry about that). The great ancestor is
caught in the middle and probably loves both women.  Moreover, we have to
admire the man for his being able to be a father to a child at the age of
eighty-six as it says in the text.

Jealousy and pride are in conflict with one another and putting the blame
on Abram does not solve the situation.  Both women hurt one another and
probably continue to do so.  The only one who helps them through all of
this is God and God’s angel. We are not given his name but Raphael is the
healing angel so let us say it is he.

We need to turn to the parents of Jesus for some solution that may help us
in our own pride and jealousy. This couple offers us an example of how to
work through difficult situations like a prenancy on the part of Mary
without Joseph being involved. Realtionships are the most important
development in our own life of relating to one another in a loving way.
Mary and Joseph witnessed to their fidelity and found a solution through
God’s angel. Joseph is the legal father of the child and is from the right
family tree to be the “father” of the messiah.  Joseph’s full story is
found in chapters 1 and 2 of Matthew’s Gospel, but he is mentioned
honorably in Luke 1 and 2 and at least once in John’s Gospel.  We can learn
much about ourselves in the example of the first reading and see how the
example in the Gospel of Matthew and Luke can help us be good in our
relationships with one another and avoid the putrid green sin of jealousy
and greed and envy.  As for the abuse given to Hagar, did Sarai fail
against the fifth commandment? or shall we beg out of it for her since the
commandments were not yet given?  Amen.

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