Thursday, March 20, 2014
Friday Second Week of Lent
Friday Second Week of Lent
Gen 37: 3-4, 12-13a, 17b-28a / Ps 105: 16-17, 18-19, 20-21 / Mt 21: 33-43, 45-46
Reading: Gn 37: 3-4, 12-13a, 17b-28a
Now Israel loved Joseph more than any of his other children, for he was the son of his old age and he had a coat with long sleeves made for him. His brothers who saw that their father loved him more than he loved them, hated him and could no longer speak to him in a friendly way. His brothers had gone to pasture their father's flock at Shechem, and Israel said to Joseph, "Your brothers are pasturing the flock at Shechem; come along, I'll send you to them." So Joseph went off after his brothers and found them at Dothan. They saw him in the distance and before he reached them, they plotted to kill him. They said to one another, "Here comes the specialist in dreams! Now's the time! Let's kill him and throw him into a well. We'll say a wild animal devoured him. Then we'll see what his dreams were all about!" But Reuben heard this and tried to save him from their hands saying, "Let us not kill him; shed no blood! Throw him in this well in the wilderness, but do him no violence." This he said to save him from them and take him back to his father. So as soon as Joseph arrived, they stripped him of his long-sleeved coat that he wore and then took him and threw him in the well. Now the well was empty, without water. They were sitting for a meal when they looked up and saw a caravan of Ishmaelites coming from Gilead, their camels laden with spices, balm and myrrh, which they were taking down to Egypt. Judah then said to his brothers, "What do we gain by killing our brother and hiding his blood? Come! We'll sell him to the Ishmaelites and not lay our hands on him, for he is our brother and our own flesh!" His brothers agreed to this. So when the Midianite merchants came along they pulled Joseph up and lifted him out of the well.
Gospel: Mt 21: 33-43
Listen to another example: There was a landowner who planted a vineyard. He put a fence around it, dug a hole for the winepress, built a watchtower, leased the vineyard to tenants and then went to a distant country. When harvest time came, the landowner sent his servants to the tenants to collect his share of the harvest. But the tenants seized his servants, beat one, killed another and stoned another. Again the owner sent more servants, but they were treated in the same way. Finally, he sent his son, thinking: 'They will respect my son.' But when the tenants saw the son, they thought: 'This is the one who is to inherit the vineyard. Let us kill him and his inheritance will be ours.' So they seized him, threw him out of the vineyard and killed him. Now, what will the owner of the vineyard do with the tenants when he comes?" They said to him, "He will bring those evil to an evil end, and lease the vineyard to others who will pay him in due time." And Jesus replied, "Have you never read what the Scriptures say? The stone which the builders rejected has become the cornerstone. This was the Lord's doing; and we marvel at it. Therefore I say to you: the kingdom of heaven will be taken from you and given to a people who will yield a harvest.
In the first reading, we read about Joseph and his brothers, how the latter hated him because of jealousy and how they threw him into a well before selling him to a group of Ishmaelites who brought him to Egypt. This reading shows how hatred can lead people to do horrible things to others, even to one's own kin. Cain killed Abel, Saul wanted to kill David, etc. There are so many similar stories of hatred and violence in the Old Testament. In the New Testament, the Pharisees hated Jesus and wanted to kill him. Eventually they were successful.
In the gospel, Jesus speaks about a parable in which the tenants of a vineyard kill the servants of the owner whom he has sent to collect the farm produce. Jesus was alluding to the prophets and holy men of the Old Testament who were killed by the faithless Jews. Hatred is a very serious and real emotion. We all have experienced it in our lives. Oftentimes we hate people who have mistreated us, those people we don't like or simply those whom we envy. Whatever the reason, hatred is a mortal sin. Once we realize that our hatred is destroying the image of God in us, we are called to repent of it. Man is called to love and not to hate. The owner of the vineyard did just that. He kept on sending his servants to make sure that the tenants will give fruits of goodness and holiness. But they just killed them. Finally, the owner sent His Son to them. God invites us to always reach out to our enemies, to the people we dislike or even hate. He does not want us to remain in our sins. He wants us to be free of grudges, animosity, jealousy and rancor. The question is do we want to let go of our hate and anger or do we want to continue with our sins? We must contemplate His love for us when He sent His Son to save us from our sins. God loves us. Do we want to remain in His love?
We pray ...
... for a deep and profound respect for life, especially for the unborn.
... for all the prayer intentions in the MTQ Dailyprayer Diary.
... for families who are in need of healing
* Virginia Hernandez, Ditas dela Paz, Fleur Torres, Tony Torres
... for world peace and reconciliation.
... for the eternal repose of the soul
* Spanky Katigbak
* Richy Ozoa, Toots Monfort, Juana Marcos
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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