Thứ Tư, 12 tháng 7, 2017


Thursday of the Fourteenth Week in Ordinary Time
Lectionary: 386

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 PsalmPS 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.

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

GospelMT 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."

Meditation: "Freely have you received - freely give"
Do you believe that the Gospel has power to change your life and the lives of others? Jesus gave his disciples a two-fold commission to speak in his name and to act with his power. The core of the Gospel message is quite simple: the kingdom (or reign) of God is imminent! What is the kingdom of God? It is that society of men and women who freely submit to God and who honor him as their Lord and King. In the Lord's prayer we pray for God to reign in our lives and in our world: May your kingdom come and your will be done on earth as it is in heaven.
Doing the works which Jesus did
Jesus also commissioned his disciples to carry on the works which he did - bringing the healing power and mercy of God to the weary and oppressed. The Gospel has power to set people free from sin, sickness, fear, and oppression. The Lord Jesus will free us from anything that keeps us from loving him and our neighbor with joy and confidence.
Sharing generously what God has given to each one of us
Jesus said to his disciples: Freely you have received, freely give. What they have received from Jesus they must now pass on to others without expecting a favor in return, whether it be in the form of a gift or payment. They must show by their attitude that their first interest is in serving God, not receiving material gain. They must serve without guile, full of charity and peace, and simplicity. They must give their full attention to the proclamation of God's kingdom and not be diverted by other lesser things. They must  travel light - only take what was essential and leave behind whatever would distract them - in order to concentrate on the task of speaking the word of the God. They must do their work, not for what they can get out of it, but for what they can give freely to others, without expecting special privileges or reward. "Poverty of spirit" frees us from greed and preoccupation with possessions and makes ample room for God’s provision. The Lord wants his disciples to be dependent on him and not on themselves.
Support the work of the Gospel with your resources
Secondly, Jesus said: the worker deserves his sustenance. Here we see a double-truth: the worker of God must not be overly-concerned with material things, but the people of God must never fail in their duty to give the worker of God what he or she needs to sustain themselves in the Lord's service. Do you pray for the work of the Gospel and do you support it with your material and financial resources?
Jesus ends his instructions with a warning: If people reject God's invitation and refuse his word, then they bring judgment and condemnation on themselves. When God gives us his word there comes with it the great responsibility to respond. Indifference will not do. We are either for or against God in how we respond to his word. God gives us his word that we may have life - abundant life in him. He wills to work in and through each of us for his glory. God shares his word with us and he commissions us to speak it boldly and simply to others. Do you witness the truth and joy of the Gospel by word and example to those around you?
“Lord Jesus, may the joy and truth of the Gospel transform my life that I may witness it to those around me. Grant that I may spread your truth and your light wherever I go.”
Daily Quote from the early church fathersThe gift of power to reign with the Lord, by Hilary of Poitiers (315-367 AD)
"All the power possessed by the Lord is bestowed upon the apostles! Those who were prefigured in the image and likeness of God in Adam have now received the perfect image and likeness of Christ. They have been given powers in no way different from those of the Lord. Those once earthbound now become heaven-centered. They will proclaim that the kingdom of heaven is at hand, that the image and likeness of God are now appropriated in the company of truth, so that all the holy ones who have been made heirs of heaven may reign with the Lord. Let them cure the sick, raise the dead, cleanse the lepers and cast out devils. Whatever impairment Adam's body had incurred from being goaded on by Satan, let the apostles wipe away through their sharing in the Lord's power. And that they may fully obtain the likeness of God according to the prophecy in Genesis, they are ordered to give freely what they freely have received (Matthew 10:8). Thus a gift freely bestowed should be freely dispensed." (excerpt from commentary ON MATTHEW 10.4)

(Genesis 44:18-21, 23b-29, 45:1-5; Psalm 105)

KEY VERSE: "Without cost you have received; without cost you are to give" (v 8).
TO KNOW: Before their being sent by Jesus, the Twelve had been mere disciples (Latin discipulus, one who learns). Now he sends them forth as apostles (Greek apostello, "to be sent"). The word apostle has two meanings, the broader meaning of a messenger and the narrow meaning of the Twelve chosen by Jesus to carry on his work of announcing the good news of God's reign by healing the sick, raising the dead, and by driving out evil. The twelve received God's gift without meriting it; therefore, they must share this gift freely with others. As the apostles went forth, they were to trust in God's providence, taking only the essentials, and depending upon the generosity of others to support them. Those who accepted the gospel of peace would be blessed. If the message was rejected, the blessing would return to the giver. The apostles must dissociate themselves from these unbelievers and leave it to God to pronounce judgment on them.
TO LOVE: Holy Apostles, help me to proclaim the gospel with courage as you did.
TO SERVE: Am I generous in sharing the gifts that I have been given?
Optional Memorial of Saint Henry

King Henry became Duke of Bavaria in 995 upon his father's death, thereby ending his thoughts of becoming a priest. Henry ascended to the throne of Germany in 1002, and was crowned King of Pavia on 15 May 1004. Henry's brother rebelled against him, and Henry was forced to defeat him on the battlefield. Henry later forgave him, and the two reconciled. Henry was crowned as the Holy Roman Emperor in 1014 by Pope Benedict VIII. His was the last of the Saxon dynasty of emperors. Henry worked to establish a stable peace in Europe, and helped to reform the Church while respecting its independence. He founded schools, fostered missions, and established Bamberg as a center for missions to Slavic countries. Henry started the construction of the cathedral at Basel, Switzerland, which took nearly 400 years to complete. Both Henry and his wife Saint Cunegunda were prayerful people, and generous to the poor. By his Christian virtues, Henry proved what a good king should be. 

Thursday 13 July 2017

St Henry II.
Genesis 44:18-21, 23-29; 45:1-5. Psalm 104(105):16-21. Matthew 10:7-15.
Remember the marvels the Lord has done — Psalm 104(105):16-21.
How hard it seems to trust in God’s providence.
The story of Joseph in today’s first reading is the story of someone who recognises your long-term provision for us. Joseph easily could have seen the presence of his brothers in Egypt as an opportunity to use his position of power for revenge. Instead he sees their presence there as God’s way of providing for his father and brothers.
He even sees their previous treatment of him as the way of bringing about God’s loving care of Israel and ensuring its continuing existence.
Lord, we are challenged by the story of Joseph and today’s gospel to trust in your providence as we live out your call.
We are also encouraged not to retaliate in times of rejection but rather to shake off the dust of our own anger and resentment. Lord, help us to travel lightly.


On July 13, the Catholic Church celebrates the memory of St. Henry II, a German king who led and defended Europe's Holy Roman Empire at the beginning of the first millennium.
St. Henry was born in 972 to Duke Henry of Bavaria and Princess Gisela of Burgundy. During his youth, Henry received both an education and spiritual guidance from a bishop who was himself canonized, St. Wolfgang of Regensberg. Henry was an intelligent and devout student, and for a period of time he was considered for the priesthood.
St. Wolfgang's lessons in piety and charity left a lasting mark on Henry's soul. But it was ultimately in the political realm, not the Church, that he would seek to exercise these virtues. He took on his father's position as Duke of Bavaria in 995, one year after St. Wolfgang's death. The Church supported his accession to the throne as King of Germany in 1002.
As king, Henry encouraged the German bishops to reform the practices of the Church in accordance with canon law. During the same period he is said to have brought a peaceful end to a revolt in his territory, which ended with the king mercifully pardoning the rebels. Henry also acted decisively, but not harshly, against an Italian nobleman who set himself up as a rival king.
In 1014, the German king journeyed to Rome where Pope Benedict VIII formally crowned him as head of the Holy Roman Empire. The emperor demonstrated his loyalty to the Pope by confirming Benedict VIII's authority over the city of Rome. Henry made his journey from Rome back to Germany into a pilgrimage of sorts, stopping at various monasteries along the way.
Henry became a great patron of churches and monasteries, donating so much of his wealth to them that his relatives complained that he was behaving irresponsibly. But Henry was far from irresponsible, as his leadership of the Western Empire in both war and peace demonstrated. The emperor was also a great patron of the poor, making enormous contributions for their relief.
The emperor's extraordinary generosity was made possible in part by his lack of an heir. He was married to a woman who was later canonized in her own right, St. Cunigunde of Luxembourg, but the two had no children. Some accounts say that the couple took vows of virginity and never consummated their marriage, though this explanation of their childlessness is not universally accepted.
For the last several years of his life, Henry had to deal with serious illness, and an additional ailment that crippled his left leg, along with his imperial responsibilities. He found support in prayer during these trials, and seriously considered resigning his imperial leadership in order to become a monk.
After several years of illness, St. Henry II died in July of 1024. The public mourned sincerely for the monarch who had managed to lead his earthly kingdom so responsibly without losing sight of the Kingdom of God. Pope Eugene III canonized him in 1146.

Lectio Divina: 
 Thursday, July 13, 2017
Ordinary Time

1) Opening prayer
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 10,7-15
Jesus said to his disciples: "As you go, proclaim that the kingdom of Heaven is close at hand. Cure the sick, raise the dead, cleanse those suffering from virulent skin-diseases, drive out devils.
You received without charge, give without charge. Provide yourselves with no gold or silver, not even with coppers for your purses, with no haversack for the journey or spare tunic or footwear or a staff, for the labourer deserves his keep.
'Whatever town or village you go into, seek out someone worthy and stay with him until you leave.
As you enter his house, salute it, and if the house deserves it, may your peace come upon it; if it does not, may your peace come back to you. And if anyone does not welcome you or listen to what you have to say, as you walk out of the house or town shake the dust from your feet. In truth I tell you, on the Day of Judgement it will be more bearable for Sodom and Gomorrah than for that town."
3) Reflection
• The Gospel today presents the second part of the sending out of the disciples.  Yesterday we have seen that Jesus insists in directing them first toward the lost sheep of Israel.  Today, we see the concrete instructions to carry out the mission.

• Matthew 10, 7: The objective of the mission: to reveal the presence of the Kingdom. “Go and announce the Kingdom of Heaven is close at hand”.  The principal objective is that of announcing that the Kingdom is close at hand.  This is the novelty which Christ brings to us.  For the other Jews there was still a long time before the coming of the Kingdom. It would have come only after they would have done their own part.  The coming of the Kingdom depended, according to them, on their effort. For the Pharisees, for example, the Kingdom would be attained only after the perfect observance of the Law.  For the Essences, when the country would have purified itself. But Jesus thinks in a different way. He has a different way of reading the facts of life. He says that the hour has already arrived (Mk 1, 15). When he says that the Kingdom is close at hand or that the Kingdom is already among us, in our midst, he does not mean to say that the Kingdom was just arriving at that moment, but that it was already there, independently of the effort made by the people. What they all expected was already present among the people, gratuitously, but the people did not know it, nor perceived it (cf. Lk 17, 21). Jesus is aware of this, because he sees reality with different eyes. He reveals and announces to the poor of his land this hidden presence of the Kingdom in our midst (Lk 4, 18). It is the mustard seed which will receive the rain of his word and the warmth of his love.  

• Matthew 10, 8: The signs of the presence of the Kingdom: accept the excluded. How should the presence of the Kingdom be announced? Only through words and discourses? No! The signs of the presence of the Kingdom are above all concrete gestures or acts, done gratuitously: “Cure the sick, raise the dead, cleanse the lepers, cast out the devils. You received without charge, give without charge”.  This means that the disciples should accept within the community those who have been excluded. This practice of solidarity criticizes both the religion and society which exclude, and indicates concrete solutions.    

• Matthew 10, 9-10: Do not take anything for the journey. Contrary to other missionaries, the disciples of Jesus should not take anything: “Provide yourselves with no gold or silver, not even with coppers for your purses, with no haversack for the journey or a spare tunic or footwear or a staff, for the labourer deserves his keep”. This means that they have to trust in the hospitality of the people.  Because the disciples who go without anything, taking only peace (Mk 10, 13), show that they trust the people.  It is certain that they will be welcomed, that they will be able to participate in the life and the work of the people of the place and that they will be able to survive with what they will receive in exchange, because the labourer deserves his keep.  This means that the disciples should trust in sharing. By means of this practice they criticize the laws of exclusion and recover the ancient values of community living together.  

• Matthew 10, 11-13: To share peace in the community. The disciples should not go from house to house, but should seek persons of peace and remain in that house. That is, they should they in a stable manner.  Thus, through that new practice, they criticise the culture of accumulation which characterized the politics of the Roman Empire, and they announced a new model of living together. Once all these requirements were respected, the disciples could cry out: The Kingdom of God has arrived! To announce the Kingdom does not mean, in the first place, to teach truths and doctrine, but lead toward a new fraternal manner of living and of sharing starting from the Good News which Jesus has brought to us: God and Father and Mother of all men and women.  

• Matthew 10, 14-15: The severity of the menace.  How is such a severe menace to be understood? Jesus has brought us something completely new. He has come to rescue the community values of the past: hospitality, sharing, communion around the table, acceptance of the excluded.  That explains the severity against those who reject the message. Because they do not reject something new, but their own past, their own culture and wisdom! The objective of the pedagogy of Jesus is to dig out from the memory, to recover the wisdom of the people, to reconstruct the community, to renew the Covenant, to reconstruct life.  

4) Personal questions
• Today, how can we put into practice the recommendation not to take anything for the journey when going to a mission?
• Jesus orders to seek for persons of peace, so as to be able to remain in their house. Today, who would be a person of peace to whom to address oneself in the announcement of the Good News?

5) Concluding Prayer
God Sabaoth, come back, we pray,
look down from heaven and see,
visit this vine;
protect what your own hand has planted. (Ps 80,14-15)