Scripture: Lectionary 387: Genesis 46:1-7,28-30. Psalm 37: 3-4,18-19, 27-28,39-40. Matthew 10:16-23:
Jesus foretells and warns the apostles about the difficulty of their mission. They are to proclaim that the reign of God has come and that Jesus has brought this Good News (Gospel) to all who are willing to listen. They will focus first on their own people and only later extend that to the “nations” or Gentiles. Persecutions, court trials, banishment from the Temple, imprisonments will follow them throughout their mission. Jesus advises and warns them to be very prudent and wise in how they go about preaching and teaching what he has commanded them. Ravenous wolves await them and they are to be innocent and prudent like doves and wise like serpents!
Since we are the Church, the Mystical Body of Christ, and the People of God, we may be spared such treatment in our country, but this is not the case for our other members of the Body of Christ who suffer persecution, violence, terrorism and martyrdom. We have not made great strides as a global well informed community when it comes to how to live with one another and respect the dignity of one another. The situation that Jesus speaks of is very real and vivid for many of our brothers and sisters.
In our own more affluent society we still have prejudices, false impressions, and are made fun of for our beliefs. This is not restricted to one class in our society but to all even the most educated can have these sinful traits either consciously or unconsciously lived out. We need to be well informed, prudent, wise, and honest in our relationships not only with one another here in the U.S.A. but also in our relationships with other nations, some of whom are unfriendly to say the least!
In our first reading we see that Israel (Jacob) has been also in a similar type of situation in Egypt. His son Joseph will liberate and help his family to return to the Promised Land. Joseph will be the one to bless his brothers and to close the eyes of his father. Jacob was so consoled by seeing his lost son Joseph that he cries out, “At last I can die, now that I have seen for myself that Joseph is still alive.” Joseph will faithfully carry out God’s plan for his family and bless them with the return to their land. Amen.
Copyright 2013 Fr. Bertrand Buby, S.M.