READINGS for 2007-07-12

Didache | Companion | Sabbath

DIDACHE

UNCONDITIONAL

I am your brother... – Genesis 45:4

Remember how we went gaga over penpal writing and autograph books during our high school days in the ’60s? (Ooops, I forgot. Didache isn’t just for people who grew up in the 60’s. It’s also for those who grew up in the 50’s. Kidding.)

One of the questions that was always in theautograph book was, “What is love?”

Some of our answers were:

“Love is blind and lovers cannot see.”

“Love is a many splendored thing.”

“Love is never having to say you’re sorry.”

Oh, those were the days, my friend, we thought would never end. Yes, we defined love in 101 ways or as many as the movie fan magazines or 45 rpm records that we bought then.

Today, if we were asked to sign anautograph book and define what love is, chances are our answer would be quite different. But the bottomline of true love is: it is unconditional. Yes, one that does not set conditions, one that does not expect anything in return.

Now ask yourself: Am I in love? Can this be love? Henry Y.

REFLECTION:

How many times have I sacrificed myself in favor of a loved one?

Lord, help me to do things without expectation and to love without conditions.

COMPANION

1st READING

Genesis 44:18-21, 23-29; 45:1-5

Joseph reveals himself to his brothers and tells them he has forgiven them for what they did many years ago. It is a good thing that Joseph is a man of mercy and love and not after revenge. Maybe Joseph realizes how the hand of God has protected his life and thus does not hold it against his brothers? Let us pray for the grace to always try to think the best of those who hurt us or sin against us.

18 Judah then stepped up to him and said: “I beg you, my lord, let your  servant speak earnestly to my lord, and do not become angry with your servant, for you are the equal of Pharaoh. 19 My lord asked your servants, ‘Have you a father, or another brother?’ 20 So we said to my lord, ‘We have an aged father, and a young brother, the child of his old age. This one’s full brother is dead, and since he is the only one by that mother who is left, his father dotes on him.’ 21 Then you told your servants, ‘Bring him down to me that my eyes may look on him.’ 23 But you told your servants, ‘Unless your youngest brother comes back with you, you shall not come into my presence again.’ 24 When we returned to your servant our father, we reported to him the words of my lord. 25 Later, our father told us to come back and buy some food for the family. 26 So we reminded him, ‘We cannot go down there; only if our youngest brother is with us can we go, for we may not see the man if our youngest brother is not with us.’ 27 Then your servant our father said to us, ‘As you know, my wife bore me two sons. 28 One of them, however, disappeared, and I had to conclude that he must have been torn to pieces by wild beasts; I have not seen him since. 29 If you now take this one away from me too, and some disaster befalls him, you will send my white head down to the nether world in grief.’ 45: 1 Joseph could no longer control himself in the presence of all his attendants, so he cried out, “Have everyone withdraw from me!” Thus no one else was about when he made himself known to his brothers. 2 But his sobs were so loud that the Egyptians heard him, and so the news reached Pharaoh’s palace. 3 “I am Joseph,” he said to his brothers. “Is my father still in good health?” But his brothers could give him no answer, so dumbfounded were they at him. 4 “Come closer to me,” he told his brothers. When they had done so, he said: “I am your brother Joseph, whom you once sold into Egypt. 5 But now do not be distressed, and do not reproach yourselves for having sold me here. It was really for the sake of saving lives that God sent me here ahead of you.”

P S A L M

Psalm 105:16-17, 18-19, 20-21

R: Remember the marvels the Lord has done.

16 When the Lord called down a famine on the land and ruined the crop that sustained them, 17 He sent a man before them, Joseph, sold as a slave.  (R) 18 They had weighed him down with fetters, and he was bound with chains, 19 till his prediction came to pass and the word of the LORD proved him true. (R) 20 The king sent and released him, the ruler of the peoples set him free. 21 He made him lord of his house and ruler of all his possessions. (R)

G O S P E L

Matthew 10:7-15

Jesus encourages us to give everything for the Gospel and not to count the cost. This is the purest witness we can possibly give. Sometimes it is difficult to know when to apply the dictum, ‘a laborer deserves his keep,’ but needless to say, the more generous we are in service of the Lord, the greater His grace will abound in our ministry. Let us seek to give all and hold nothing back from God.

7 “As you go, make this proclamation: ‘The kingdom of heaven is at hand.’ 8 Cure the sick, raise the dead, cleanse lepers, drive out demons. Without cost you have received; without cost you are to give. 9 Do not take gold or silver or copper for your belts; 10 no sack for the journey, or a second tunic, or sandals, or walking stick. The laborer deserves his keep. 11 Whatever town or village you enter, look for a worthy person in it, and stay there until you leave. 12 As you enter a house, wish it peace. 13 If the house is worthy, let your peace come upon it; if not, let your peace return to you. 14 Whoever will not receive you or listen to your words — go outside that house or town and shake the dust from your feet. 15 Amen, I say to you, it will be more tolerable for the land of Sodom and Gomorrah on the day of judgment than for that town.”

my reflections

think: Let us pray for the grace to always try to think the best of those who hurt us or sin against us.

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God’s special verse/thought for me today________________

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T O D A Y ’ S BLESSING LIST

Thank You Lord for: ____________________________________

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READ THE BIBLE IN ONE YEAR Sirach 48-51

SABBATH

THE TOUGH JOB OF PROMOTING GOD’S REIGN

After yesterday’s initial instructions of Jesus to the Twelve Apostles, today’s Gospel continues with  even more detailed directives for them. It all seems a tough or an even “edgy” mission: there is a bold, provocative, or unconventional quality to it. Plus, a sense of urgency is there — no material concerns should obstruct it, and any opposition on the part of people should push the apostle simply to move on and transfer to another place without really much fuss. Indeed there is a lot to do, there is an innate—“power” and effectiveness to the mission itself, and there is a need both for confidence in Divine Providence and for self-sacrificing generosity.

Such is what the Reign of God entails, including for us now who seek to spread it in our world of today. It is at hand. Are we ready to sign up and join in promoting it? The work load is always heavy, the marketing strategyis best described as no nonsense, and the pay isn’t much. But we can always count on the support and guidance of our “recruiter and boss,” Jesus Christ himself, who empowers us. Fr. Martin M.

REFLECTION QUESTION: Who is your boss?

Love and Peace You offer as reward. They are more than enough. Thank You, Lord.

St. John Gaulbert, abbot, pray for us.

 




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