Friday, July 08, 2005



JULY 9, 2005

GENESIS 49:29-32; 50:15-26A
Jacob gave his sons this charge: "Since I am about to be taken to my
people, bury me with my fathers in the cave that lies in the field of
Ephron the Hittite, the cave in the field of Machpelah, facing on
Mamre, in the land of Canaan, the field that Abraham bought from
Ephron the Hittite for a burial ground. There Abraham and his wife
Sarah are buried, and so are Isaac and his wife Rebekah, and there,
too, I buried Leah- the field and the cave in it that had been
purchased from the Hittites." Now that their father was dead,
Joseph's brothers became fearful and thought, "Suppose Joseph has
been nursing a grudge against us and now plans to pay us back in full
for all the wrong we did him!" So they approached Joseph and
said: "Before your father died, he gave us these instructions: `You
shall say to Joseph, Jacob begs you to forgive the criminal
wrongdoing of your brothers, who treated you so cruelly.' Please,
therefore, forgive the crime that we, the servants of your father's
God, committed." When they spoke these words to him, Joseph broke
into tears. Then his brothers proceeded to fling themselves down
before him and said, "Let us be your slaves!" But Joseph replied to
them: "Have no fear. Can I take the place of God? Even though you
meant harm to me, God meant it for good, to achieve his present end,
the survival of many people. Therefore have no fear. I will provide
for you and for your children." By thus speaking kindly to them, he
reassured them. Joseph remained in Egypt, together with his father's
family. He lived a hundred and ten years. He saw Ephraim's children
to the third generation, and the children of Manasseh's son Machir
were also born on Joseph's knees. Joseph said to his brothers: "I am
about to die. God will surely take care of you and lead you out of
this land to the land that he promised on oath to Abraham, Isaac and
Jacob." Then, putting the sons of Israel under oath, he
continued, "When God thus takes care of you, you must bring my bones
up with you from this place." Joseph died at the age of a hundred and

MATTHEW 10:24-33
Jesus said to his Apostles: "No disciple is above his teacher, no
slave above his master. It is enough for the disciple that he become
like his teacher, for the slave that he become like his master. If
they have called the master of the house Beelzebul, how much more
those of his household! "Therefore do not be afraid of them. Nothing
is concealed that will not be revealed, nor secret that will not be
known. What I say to you in the darkness, speak in the light; what
you hear whispered, proclaim on the housetops. And do not be afraid
of those who kill the body but cannot kill the soul; rather, be
afraid of the one who can destroy both soul and body in Gehenna. Are
not two sparrows sold for a small coin? Yet not one of them falls to
the ground without your Father's knowledge. Even all the hairs of
your head are counted. So do not be afraid; you are worth more than
many sparrows. Everyone who acknowledges me before others I will
acknowledge before my heavenly Father. But whoever denies me before
others, I will deny before my heavenly Father."

If you've read through the story of Joseph as a whole, not just the
three or four passages used in this week's liturgy, you might be
surprised at the brothers' reaction to Joseph after the death of
Jacob. What does Joseph have to do to convince his brothers that he's
sincere in his forgiveness? His behavior, as well as his words, has
made this absolutely clear to them on many occasions.

The brothers may be the sort of people who themselves are not
forgiving and who believe that no one can forgive. Vengeance, such
people think, is not only the natural response to hurts and insults,
it's the only response. The only response to Joseph's egotism that
the brothers found within themselves was to rid themselves of him.
Reuben alone resisted violence. Judah wasn't interested in
protecting Joseph; his main concern was that he and his brothers not
incur the guilt of fratricide. They opted for violence,
nonetheless. They sold Joseph into slavery.

We've all absorbed well Jesus' teaching about his Father's loving
mercy, and we're in admiration of the Father's forgiveness as it is
incarnated in Jesus. Still our sins stare us in the face; we're
vividly aware of them. They mock us and they mock the Father's ever-
ready forgiveness. In the back of our minds there lives a tiny
fear, `can God forgive me?' Is it possible for him to forgive me?"

The story of Joseph asserts that human beings are capable of
unconditioned love and forgiveness. But is there need that we call
upon the story of Joseph and his brothers to bolster our faith in
God's ability to forgive us, when we have before us the story of
Jesus himself and his Father?

"Lord, it is my joy and privilege to your disciple. Give me strength
and courage to bear any hardship and suffering which may come my way
in your service. May I witness to others the joy of the gospel."

We pray ...
- for a deep and profound respect for life, especially for the
- for the personal intentions of JP.
- for the personal intentions of Lydia and family.
- for the personal intentions of Cresencia.
- for the well-being of Nina.
- for good health and special intentions of Elsa and Paolo.
- Birthday: Nelly Masigan
- for all the prayer intentions in the MTQ Dailyprayer Diary.
- Wedding Anniversary: Ramona & Daniel Hwan
- Birthday: Fr. Enrique Lalana, S.J.
- In Memoriam: Loreta Dy Chua
- for world peace and reconciliation.

Finally, we pray for one another, for those who have asked our
prayers and for those who need our prayers the most.

Have a good day!

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