Thursday, July 11, 2013

Gospel Reflection

July 11, 2013
Thursday – Year of Faith – Ordinary Time
Memorial of Saint Benedict, Abbot
by Rev. Fr. Benjamin “Benjo” Fajota (Vice Rector of the EDSA Shrine)
5:30PM Mass, Mary, Queen of Peace Shrine (Our Lady of Peace Quasi Parish/EDSA Shrine)


Judah approached Joseph 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. My lord asked your servants, ‘Have you a father, or another brother?’ 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.’ Then you told your servants, ‘Bring him down to me that my eyes may look on him. Unless your youngest brother comes back with you, you shall not come into my presence again.’ When we returned to your servant our father, we reported to him the words of my lord.

“Later, our father told us to come back and buy some food for the family. 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.’ Then your servant our father said to us, ‘As you know, my wife bore me two sons. 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. 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.’“

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. But his sobs were so loud that the Egyptians heard him, and so the news reached Pharaoh’s palace. “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.

“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. 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.”

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

R. (5a) Remember the marvels the Lord has done.
R. Alleluia.
When the LORD called down a famine on the land
and ruined the crop that sustained them,
He sent a man before them,
Joseph, sold as a slave.
R. Remember the marvels the Lord has done.
R. Alleluia.
They had weighed him down with fetters,
and he was bound with chains,
Till his prediction came to pass
and the word of the LORD proved him true.
R. Remember the marvels the Lord has done.
R. Alleluia.
The king sent and released him,
the ruler of the peoples set him free.
He made him lord of his house
and ruler of all his possessions.
R. Remember the marvels the Lord has done.
R. Alleluia.

Gospel Mt 10:7-15

Jesus said to his Apostles: “As you go, make this proclamation: ‘The Kingdom of heaven is at hand.’ Cure the sick, raise the dead, cleanse the lepers, drive out demons. Without cost you have received; without cost you are to give. Do not take gold or silver or copper for your belts; no sack for the journey, or a second tunic, or sandals, or walking stick. The laborer deserves his keep. Whatever town or village you enter, look for a worthy person in it, and stay there until you leave. As you enter a house, wish it peace. If the house is worthy, let your peace come upon it; if not, let your peace return to you. Whoever will not receive you or listen to your words— go outside that house or town and shake the dust from your feet. 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.”

There is a very popular Russian fable about the story of a wild boar who was very greedy for acorns. And when it sees acorns, he will keep on eating and eating until he tears the roots of the oak tree. One day, the oak tree spoke to the wild boar and said, "You foolish boar. I am the source of your food, and if you keep on destroying my roots, I will not be able to give you your nourishment."

A lot of times, we are also like the foolish boar. We are so greedy with a lot of material things that oftentimes, we are blinded by our own desires, by our own greed on a lot of things that we think will help us in our lives, things that we think will make us happy. But we know that God reveals Himself and asks us that we should look only on the source. Jesus is the source of life; He is the source of our faith. Jesus is the source of everything that we have. 

In the Gospel, Jesus Christ taught His apostles not to bring anything - no money bag, no sack cloth, no extra tunic. Why? It is for them to rely solely on the source of everything, and that is God Himself. 

God has given us three gifts. First is the gift of fresh healing for repentant sinners. Second, deliverance from demons - the demons of doubts, of anxieties, of hopelessness. And the third is physical healing. God wants us to be holy; God wants us to be whole and integrated as one, as the Body of Christ is one. 

My dear brothers and sisters, we are always asked to look up to the source of life. Every time we hear some things that would remind us about God, especially here in the Church, it is a good reminder for us that we all belong to God, and that we are living our lives, not for ourselves, but for God. Let us not be greedy for the material things, but always look up to God - the source of everything. Amen.