Thứ Ba, 11 tháng 7, 2017

JULY 12, 2017 : WEDNESDAY OF THE FOURTEENTH WEEK IN ORDINARY TIME

Wednesday of the Fourteenth Week in Ordinary Time
Lectionary: 385

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.

Responsorial PsalmPS 33:2-3, 10-11, 18-19
R. (22) Lord, let your mercy be on us, as we place our trust in you.
Give thanks to the LORD on the harp;
with the ten-stringed lyre chant his praises.
Sing to him a new song;
pluck the strings skillfully, with shouts of gladness.
R. Lord, let your mercy be on us, as we place our trust in you.
The LORD brings to nought the plans of nations;
he foils the designs of peoples.
But the plan of the LORD stands forever;
the design of his heart, through all generations.
R. Lord, let your mercy be on us, as we place our trust in you.
But see, the eyes of the LORD are upon those who fear him,
upon those who hope for his kindness,
To deliver them from death
and preserve them in spite of famine.
R. Lord, let your mercy be on us, as we place our trust in you.

AlleluiaMK 1:15
R. Alleluia, alleluia.
The Kingdom of God is at hand:
repent and believe in the Gospel.
R. Alleluia, alleluia.

GospelMT 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.'"


Meditation: Jesus gives his disciples authority to heal and set free
Do you believe in the life-changing power of the Gospel and experience its transforming effect in your life? The core of the Gospel message is quite simple: the kingdom (or reign) of God is very near!What is the kingdom of God? It is that society of men and women who know God's love and mercy, and who willingly obey and honor God as their Lord and King. In the prayer which Jesus gave to his disciples (the Lord's Prayer or Our Father), he taught them to pray for God to reign in their daily lives and in the world around them: May your kingdom come and your will be done on earth as it is in heaven.
The power of the Gospel to heal and set free
When Jesus proclaimed the good news of God's kingdom he also demonstrated the power of the Gospel with supernatural signs and wonders. Jesus healed people who suffered physical, emotional, and mental illnesses. He freed people from spiritual bondage to sin and demonic powers. Jesus gave his disciples the same authority he had to heal and set people free from spiritual bondage.
The Gospel (which literally means "good news") which Jesus proclaimed is just as relevant and real today, the kingdom of heaven is at hand. If we believe in the Lord Jesus, the Word of God made flesh, and in the power of the Gospel, we will know and experience the freedom, joy, and power he gives us that enables us to live and witness as his disciples. No one can buy heaven; but if we know the love and mercy of Jesus Christ, then we already possess heaven in our hearts! Do you believe that Jesus can change and transform your life and share with you the power and authority of God's kingdom?
Jesus chose ordinary people to do extraordinary work
Jesus commissioned his disciples to carry on the works which he did - to speak God's word and to bring his healing power to the weary and oppressed. In the choice of the twelve apostles we see a characteristic feature of God's work - Jesus chose very ordinary people. They were non-professionals, had no wealth or privileged position. They were chosen from the common people who did ordinary things, had no special education, and no social advantages.
Jesus wanted ordinary people who could take an assignment and do it extraordinarily well. He chose these men, not for what they were, but for what they would be capable of becoming under his direction and power. When the Lord calls us to serve, we must not think we have nothing or very little to offer. The Lord takes what ordinary people, like us, can offer and uses it for greatness in his kingdom. Do you believe that God wants to work in and through you for his glory?
"Lord Jesus, 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 name."
Daily Quote from the early church fathersJesus empowers his disciples to act in his name, by John Chrysostom (347-407 AD)
" If the Spirit had not yet been given, since Jesus had not yet been glorified, how then did the disciples cast out the unclean spirits? They did this by his own command, by the Son’s authority.2 Note the careful timing of their mission. They were not sent out at the beginning of their walk with him. They were not sent out until they had sufficiently benefited by following him daily. It was only after they had seen the dead raised, the sea rebuked, devils expelled, the legs of a paralytic brought to life, sins remitted, lepers cleansed, and had received a sufficient proof of his power both by deeds and words - only then did he send them out. And he did not send them out unprepared to do dangerous deeds, for as yet there was no danger in Palestine. They had only to stand against verbal abuse. However, Jesus still warned them of larger perils to come, preparing them for what was future." (excerpt from THE GOSPEL OF MATTHEW, HOMILY 32.3)

WEDNESDAY, JULY 12, MATTHEW 10:1-7
(Genesis 41:55-57, 42:5-7a, 17-24a; Psalm 105)

KEY VERSE: "As you go, make this proclamation: `The kingdom of God is at hand'" (v 7).
TO KNOW: Chapter 10 of Matthew's gospel is the so-called missionary discourse in which Jesus passes on to his disciples the authority and power over demons and diseases that he had received from the Father. Jesus did not choose to bring about the kingdom on his own. It would take the co-operation of his followers to bring it to completion. Jesus chose twelve men to share his ministry and mission. The number twelve recalled the founding twelve tribes of Israel. These tribes had been scattered and dispersed all over the world. At the time of Jesus, only the tribe of Judah remained intact (Jesus was a descendant of Judah's tribe). Jesus' understanding of his mission was to draw the people of Israel, the chosen people back together again. But the love of God and Jesus did not stop there. After Jesus had been raised from the dead, he told his followers, “Now, you must be my disciples to all the nations.” He gave the whole church the knowledge of the love of God, and then told them to go out to proclaim that good news to all peoples (Mt 28:19).
TO LOVE: Holy Apostles, help me to share the good news to all I meet.
TO SERVE: How have I announced the gospel today?

Wednesday 12 July 2017

Genesis 41:55-57; 42:5-7, 17-24. Psalm 32(33):2-3, 10-11, 18-19. Matthew 10:1-7.
Lord, let your mercy be on us, as we place our trust in you — Psalm 32(33):2-3, 10-11, 18-19.
‘He instructed them as follows …’
Jesus is sending us out, as he sent the twelve. He is inviting each of us to our mission. I am reminded today of the first time I realised that I was on a mission. It was in the 1970s when a friend greeted me with the words: ‘What mission are you on today?’ That day, so long ago, God was calling me.
I know now that my mission has grown and developed. For some years, it was a slow journey. I remember too, how apprehensive I was, in those early years, despite the enjoyment of my work. In very recent years my mission has become so wonderful, so exciting, sometimes very demanding, quite often isolating, but all the time bringing me closer to God, and closer to God in all the people I meet and serve.

ST. IGNATIUS DELGADO

St. Ignatius Delgado, whose feast we celebrate on July 12, was a Spanish missionary and is now one of the martyrs of Vietnam.
He was born in Villafeliche, Spain, in 1761, and was raised in a pious family. He became a Dominican priest and served as a missionary in Vietnam for almost 50 years.
He was named coadjutor vicar-apostolic at East Tonkin, Vietnam. However, government-sanctioned persecution of Christians began soon after. Ignatius was arrested and locked in a cage, then put on public display for ridicule and abuse, and left to die. He died of hunger and exposure in 1838.
The martyr was canonized by Pope John Paul II in 1988.

LECTIO DIVINA: MATTHEW 10,1-7
Lectio Divina: 
 Wednesday, July 12, 2017
Ordinary Time

1) Opening prayer
Father,
through the obedience of Jesus,
your servant and your Son,
you raised a fallen world.
Free us from sin
and bring us the joy that lasts for ever.
We ask this through our Lord Jesus Christ, your Son,
who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit,
one God, for ever and ever. Amen.

2) Gospel Reading - Matthew 10,1-7
Jesus summoned his twelve disciples and gave them authority over unclean spirits with power to drive them out and to cure all kinds of disease and all kinds of illness.
These are the names of the twelve apostles: first, Simon who is known as 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 Thaddaeus; Simon the Zealot and Judas Iscariot, who was also his betrayer.
These twelve Jesus sent out, instructing them as follows: 'Do not make your way to gentile territory, and do not enter any Samaritan town; go instead to the lost sheep of the House of Israel. And as you go, proclaim that the kingdom of Heaven is close at hand.

3) Reflection
• The second great Discourse: The Discourse of the Mission begins in charter 10 of the Gospel of Matthew.  Matthew organizes his Gospel as a new edition of the Law of God or like a new “Pentateuch” with its five books.  For this reason his Gospel presents five great discourses or teachings of Jesus followed by a narrative part, in which he describes the way in which Jesus puts into practice what he had taught in the discourses.  The following is the outline:
Introduction: the birth and preparation of the Messiah (Mt 1 to 4)
a) Sermon on the Mountain: the entrance door into the Kingdom (Mt 5 to 7)
Narrative Mt 8 and 9
b) Discourse of the Mission: how to announce and diffuse the Kingdom (Mt 10)
Narrative Mt 11 and 12
c) Discourse of the Parables: The mystery of the Kingdom present in life (Mt 13)
Narrative Mt 14 to 17
d) Discourse of the Community: the new way of living together in the Kingdom (Mt    18)
Narrative 19 to 23
e) Discourse of the future coming of the Kingdom: the utopia which sustains hope (Mt 24 and 25)
Conclusion: Passion, death and Resurrection (Mt 26 to 28)
• Today’s Gospel presents to us the beginning of the Discourse of the Mission, in which the accent is placed on three aspects: (a) the call of the disciples (Mt 10, 1); (b) the list of the names of the twelve Apostles who will be the recipients of the Discourse on the Mission (Mt 10, 2-4); (c) the sending out of the twelve (Mt 10, 5-7).
• Matthew 10, 1: The call of the twelve disciples. Matthew had already spoken about the call of the disciples (Mt 4, 18-22; 9, 9).  Here, at the beginning of the Discourse of the Mission, he presents a summary: “He summoned his twelve disciples, and gave them authority over unclean spirits with power to drive them out and to cure all kinds of diseases and all kinds of illness”. The task or the mission of the disciple is to follow Jesus, the Master, forming community with him and carrying out the same mission of Jesus: to drive out the unclean spirits, to cure all sorts of diseases and all orts of illness.  In Mark’s Gospel they receive the same two-fold mission, formulated with other words: Jesus constituted the group of Twelve, to remain with him and to send them out to preach and cast out devils” (Mc 3, 14-15). 1) To be with him, that is to form a community, in which Jesus is the center.  2)To preach and to be able to cast out the devils, that is, to announce the Good News and to conquer the force of evil which destroys the life of the people and alienates persons.  Luke says that Jesus prayed the whole night, and the following day he called the disciples.  He prayed to God so as to know whom to choose (Lk 6, 12-13).
• Matthew 10, 2-4: The list of the names of the Twelve Apostles. A good number of these names come from the Old Testament.  For example, Simon is the name of one of the sons of the Patriarch Jacob (Gn 29, 33). James is the same as Giacomo (Gn 25, 26). Judas is the name of the other son of Jacob (Gn 35, 23). Matthew also had the name of Levi (Mk 2, 14), who was the other son of Jacob (Gn 35, 23). Of the Twelve Apostles seven have a name which comes from the time of the Patriarchs.  Two are called Simon; two are called James; two are called Judas, one Levi!  Only one has a Greek name: Philip. This reveals the desire of people to start again the history from the beginning! Perhaps it is good to think in the names which are given today to the children when they are born.  Because each one of us is called by God by his/her name.  
• Matthew 10, 5-7: The sending out or the mission of the twelve apostles toward the lost sheep of Israel.  After having given the list of the names of the twelve, Jesus sends them out with the following recommendation: “Do not make your way to gentile territory, and do not enter any Samaritan town, go instead to the lost sheep of the House of Israel. And as you go, proclaim that the Kingdom of Heaven is close at hand”.  In this one phrase there is a three-fold insistence in showing that the preference of the mission is for the House of Israel: (1) Do not go among the gentiles, (2) do not enter into the towns of the Samaritans, (3) rather go to the lost sheep of Israel. Here appears a response to the doubt of the first Christians concerning opening up to pagans. Paul, who strongly affirmed the openness to the gentiles, agrees in saying that the Good News of Jesus should first be announced to the Jews and, then to the gentiles (Rm 9, 1 a 11, 36; cf. At 1, 8; 11, 3; 13, 46; 15,1. 5.23-29). But then, in the same Gospel of Matthew, in the conversation of Jesus with the Canaanite woman, the openness to the gentiles will take place (Mt 15, 21-29).
• The sending out of the Apostles toward all peoples. After the Resurrection of Jesus, there are several episodes on the sending out of the Apostles not only toward the Jews, but toward all peoples. In Matthew: Go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, of the Son and of the Holy Spirit and teaching them to observe everything which I have commanded.  And I will be with you until the end of time” (Mt 28, 19-20). In Mark: “Go to the entire world, proclaim the Good News to all creatures. Those who will believe and will be baptized will be saved; those who will not believe will be condemned” (Mk 15-16). In Luke: "So it is written that the Christ would suffer and on the third day rise from the dead, and that in his name, repentance for the forgiveness of sins would be preached to all nations, beginning from Jerusalem. You are witnesses to this (Lk 24, 46-48; Ac 1, 8) John summarizes all in one phrase: “As the Father has sent me, so I also send you!”  (Jn 20, 21).

4) Personal questions
• Have you ever thought sometime about the meaning of your name? Have you asked your parents why they gave you the name that you have? Do you like your name?
• Jesus calls the disciples. His call has a two-fold purpose: to form a community and to go on mission.  How do I live in my life this two-fold purpose?

5) Concluding Prayer
Seek Yahweh and his strength,
tirelessly seek his presence!
Remember the marvels he has done, his wonders,
the judgements he has spoken. (Ps 105,4-5)