READINGS for 2007-07-13
“But beware of people, for they will hand you over to courts and scourge you in their synagogues... Brother will hand over brother to death, and the father his child; children will rise up against parents and have them put to death. You will be hated by all because of my name.” – Matthew 10:17, 21-22
Who does he think he is? Negative thoughts come streaming through my mind as I talk to a rude individual about a business idea. I want to choke the life out of him. After all, I am younger than he is and yet I am as successful as he (if not more).
Can you relate? Rejection triggers a lot ofnegative reactions that reflect our internal issues: Pride, a hidden grudge, insecurity and so on....
Today the Lord talks about rejection, butthe kind due to a much more noble cause: following Him.
If Jesus expects me to respond adequatelyto rejection to a godly mission, shouldn’t I do the same for secular ones?
Rejection is a unique “hands on” teacherin life. Obviously, humility is one of its lessons. It has brought me maturity — what won’t kill me will make me better. But most of all, it has increased my dependence and trust in the Lord.
Accepting rejection is painful but it is worthit. Ariel D.
The first step is to decide to follow. The rest is an adventure with God’s grace.
Whether I am serving in ministry, doing my job or expanding my business, I am supposed to be Your follower. Thank You for Your immediate assurance: “You will be given at that moment what you are to say.”
A great number of the people follow Jacob and his sons to Egypt, setting the scene a couple of centuries later for the mission of Moses. The Hyksos who ruled Egypt at this time were Semitic foreigners and thus probably known to Jacob et al who were also Semites. They probably served at first as the manual laborers of the Hyksos before establishing their own businesses and influence in Egypt.
1 Israel set out with all that was his. When he arrived at Beer-sheba, he offered sacrifices to the God of his father Isaac. 2 There God, speaking to Israel in a vision by night, called, “Jacob! Jacob!” “Here I am,” he answered. 3 Then he said: “I am God, the God of your father. Do not be afraid to go down to Egypt, for there I will make you a great nation. 4 Not only will I go down to Egypt with you; I will also bring you back here, after Joseph has closed your eyes.” 5 So Jacob departed from Beer-sheba, and the sons of Israel put their father and their wives and children on the wagons that Pharaoh had sent for his transport. 6 They took with them their livestock and the possessions they had acquired in the land of Canaan. Thus Jacob and all his descendants migrated to Egypt. 7 His sons and his grandsons, his daughters and his granddaughters — all his descendants—he took with him to Egypt. 28 Israel had sent Judah ahead to Joseph, so that he might meet him in Goshen. On his arrival in the region of Goshen, 29 Joseph hitched the horses to his chariot and rode to meet his father Israel in Goshen. As soon as he saw him, he flung himself on his neck and wept a long time in his arms. 30 And Israel said to Joseph, “At last I can die, now that I have seen for myself that Joseph is still alive.”
P S A L M
Psalm 37:3-4, 18-19, 27-28, 39-40
R: The salvation of the just comes from the Lord.
3 Trust in the LORD and do good, that you may dwell in the land and enjoy security. 4 Take delight in the LORD, and he will grant you your heart’s requests. (R) 18 The LORD watches over the lives of the wholehearted; their inheritance lasts forever. 19 They are not put to shame in an evil time; in days of famine they have plenty. (R) 27 Turn from evil and do good, that you may abide forever; 28 for the LORD loves what is right, and forsakes not his faithful ones. (R) 39 The salvation of the just is from the LORD; he is their refuge in time of distress. 40 And the LORD helps them and delivers them; he delivers them from the wicked and saves them, because they take refuge in him. (R)
G O S P E L
Jesus warns us that the Gospel brings judgment with it, judgment according to what is true and right and just. If people are going to persist in sin, then God’s judgment will be upon them sooner or later. This means that we too will have to make a stand for or against them, thus dividing the human community along the lines of those who will follow the truth and those who will not.
16 “Behold, I am sending you like sheep in the midst of wolves; so be shrewd as serpents and simple as doves. 17 But beware of people, for they will hand you over to courts and scourge you in their synagogues, 18 and you will be led before governors and kings for my sake as a witness before them and the pagans. 19 When they hand you over, do not worry about how you are to speak or what you are to say. You will be given at that moment what you are to say. 20 For it will not be you who speak but the Spirit of your Father speaking through you. 21 Brother will hand over brother to death, and the father his child; children will rise up against parents and have them put to death. 22 You will be hated by all because of my name, but whoever endures to the end will be saved. 23 When they persecute you in one town, flee to another. Amen, I say to you, you will not finish the towns of Israel before the Son of Man comes.”
think : Jesus warns us that the Gospel brings judgment with it, judgment according to what is true and right and just.
God’s special verse/thought for me today________________
T O D A Y ’ S BLESSING LIST
Thank You Lord for: ____________________________________
READ THE BIBLE IN ONE YEAR Isaiah 1-2
Our continuous Gospel passages (by daily installment, as it were) bring us now to Jesus’ instructions regarding the inevitable persecutions which his disciples were to undergo. Closely connected with persecutions is, of course, martyrdom.
By no means are these realities of persecution and martyrdom things of the past. In fact (according to the book Jesus Freaks: Stories of Those Who Stood for Jesus ), there are more Christian martyrs today than there were in 100 AD, in the days of the Roman Empire.
Our mission at present may not involve hanging on a cross, being jailed, or being burned at the stake. But there are other, more subtle and invisible persecutions. Ours is a society built by pride, materialism, and dedication to the status quo. And in a world built on free will instead of God’s Will, we must indeed be martyrs.
While we may not be called to martyr our lives, we must martyr our way of life. We must put our selfish ways to death and march to a different beat. There still are persecutions, definitely; but we should be able torecognize their newer and more subtler forms, if we are to measure up to them. Fr. Martin M.
REFLECTION QUESTION: Are you well equipped to handle persecution?
Strengthen our spirits, Lord, to face any difficulties in Your name.
St. Francis Solano, pray for us.
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