Tuesday, July 05, 2005



JULY 6, 2005

GENESIS 41:55-57; 42:5-7A, 17-24A
When hunger came to be felt throughout the land of Egypt and the
people cried to Pharaoh for bread, Pharaoh directed all the Egyptians
to go to Joseph and do whatever he told them. When the famine had
spread throughout the land, Joseph opened all the cities that had
grain and rationed it to the Egyptians, since the famine had gripped
the land of Egypt. In fact, all the world came to Joseph to obtain
rations of grain, for famine had gripped the whole world. The sons
of Israel were among those who came to procure rations. It was
Joseph, as governor of the country, who dispensed the rations to all
the people. When Joseph's brothers came and knelt down before him
with their faces to the ground, he recognized them as soon as he saw
them. But Joseph concealed his own identity from them and spoke
sternly to them. With that, he locked them up in the guardhouse for
three days. On the third day Joseph said to his brothers: "Do this,
and you shall live; for I am a God-fearing man. If you have been
honest, only one of your brothers need be confined in this prison,
while the rest of you may go and take home provisions for your
starving families. But you must come back to me with your youngest
brother. Your words will thus be verified, and you will not die." To
this they agreed. To one another, however, they said: "Alas, we are
being punished because of our brother. We saw the anguish of his
heart when he pleaded with us, yet we paid no heed; that is why this
anguish has now come upon us." Reuben broke in, "Did I not tell you
not to do wrong to the boy? But you would not listen! Now comes the
reckoning for his blood." The brothers did not know, of course, that
Joseph understood what they said, since he spoke with them through an
interpreter. But turning away from them, he wept.

MATTHEW 10:1-7
Jesus summoned his Twelve disciples and gave them authority over
unclean spirits to drive them out and to cure every disease and every
illness. The names of the Twelve Apostles are these: first, Simon
called Peter, and his brother Andrew; James, the son of Zebedee, and
his brother John; Philip and Bartholomew, Thomas and Matthew the tax
collector; James, the son of Alphaeus, and Thaddeus; Simon the
Cananean, and Judas Iscariot .who betrayed Jesus. Jesus sent out
these Twelve after instructing them thus, "Do not go into pagan
territory or enter a Samaritan town. Go rather to the lost sheep of
the house of Israel. As you go, make this proclamation: `The Kingdom
of heaven is at hand.'"

The story of Joseph and his brothers is very likely among the
favorite childhood stories of most Christians and Jews. It had an
important role in the formation of our Judeo-Christian values when
our characters were still malleable and in the process of being
molded. It's a story of sin and forgiveness, of betrayal and
reconciliation. It showed us that the virtue of forgiveness can
transform one who could have been a powerful martinet, into a
magnificently attractive human being. In recent years the story has
been given new life by the musical play, Joseph and the Amazing
Multicolored Dream-Coat.

The young Joseph's siblings hated him, and not without reason. He
suffered from a bloated ego. He was, in his own mind, although the
youngest, No. 1 among Jacob's sons. He believed that they should all
prostrate themselves before him, honoring him. His brothers' hatred
was so intense that they sold him as a slave to a group of traders
who were on their way to Egypt, and then told his father that the boy
had been killed by a wild beast.

Joseph had reason enough, therefore, to hate his brothers, and reason
enough to take deadly vengeance on them. And he was in a position to
do so, since he was in effect the Prime Minister of an absolute
ruler, Egypt's Pharaoh. He held absolute power over the people of
that nation. A simple vengeful word would have been enough to have
all his brothers put to death.

Over the years, however, Joseph's brothers had undergone a
conversion. They were now sincerely repentant for the evil they had
done to him. Joseph wept for joy at the thought of reunion with them
and with his father.

Why is it that the story of Joseph and even the gospels have failed
to form our consciences definitively on the side of forgiveness and
reconciliation? Though Jesus pronounced the peacemaker "blest," his
pronouncement was and has continued to be counter-cultural. The
world longs for peace, but no one wants to take the first step toward
peace. Self-interest, the importance of being seen as macho, the
satisfaction that vengeance bestows, these disvalues attract
particularly the male of the species. And down through the centuries
it has been the male who has decided between peace and war.

On a smaller scale, however, we all can be peacemakers, we can take
the first step toward peace, within our own families, communities and
among our own associates.

"Lord, you have chosen me to be your disciple. Take and use what I
can offer, however meager it may seem, for the greater glory of your

We pray ...
- for a deep and profound respect for life, especially for the
- for Linda, who is in her early 50s with terminal lung cancer.
- for the personal intentions of JP.
- for the personal intentions of Lydia and family.
- for the personal intentions of those who are sick, especially Rich
M, Edith & Von from FL.
- for the prayer intentions of Julie.
- for the prayer intentions of Julie and Joseph Dyhengco. May they
continue to put God in the center of their lives and may God continue
to bless them and their children.
- for the speedy recovery of Ernesto Hernandez.
- for the personal intentions of Joey Devela.
- for all the prayer intentions in the MTQ Dailyprayer Diary.
- Wedding Anniversary: Jose & Susana Lorenzo
- 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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