Friday, 12 July 2019 : 14th Week of Ordinary Time (Homily and Scripture Reflections)

Liturgical Colour : Green

Dear brothers and sisters in Christ, on this day the Scripture passages speak to us about the reassurance that God gives us mankind, because of the great love He has for each and every one of us. He has reassured His faithful servant Jacob, also known as Israel, in our first reading today from the Book of Genesis, and He also reassured His disciples in our Gospel passage, when He sent them to be witnesses and to be evangelisers of the Good News.

In the first reading today, we heard of Jacob who was on his way to the land of Egypt, having heard the news that his beloved son Joseph, once thought to be dead, was in fact alive and was the powerful Regent of Egypt. In his heart, Jacob still doubted that it was the truth, but God came to Him in a dream and reassured him that this was in fact true, and he would once again reunited with Joseph and his whole family.

God assured Jacob that it was the way meant for Jacob and his family, in going to Egypt to survive through the difficult years of famine, and He would always watch over His people wherever He brought them to. And He remained faithful to that promise, even many centuries afterwards, when the people of Israel after many generations were oppressed by the Egyptians and their Pharaoh in slavery.

He sent them Moses to be their deliverer, freeing them from the yoke of the Pharaoh and brought them out of the land of Egypt and returning them to the land which He has promised to Abraham, Isaac and Jacob, their forefathers. God guided them along the way, and even though the people were rebellious and wicked, He continued to lead them on regardless while punishing them for their disobedience, like that of a father disciplining his child.

In the Gospel passage today, we then heard about the sending of the disciples of the Lord, as they were sent out to lead the way for the Lord’s coming, working among the people of God, ministering to them and delivering the truth of God to them, and God made it clear to them that their tasks were not easy. There would be challenges and obstacles they would have to face, and they would suffer rejection and persecution.

But in the end, God is always ever faithful and loving, and He will not abandon His faithful ones no matter what. He would be with them and He would guide them through the difficult times, providing them with what they need and giving them the necessary strength to persevere through the most difficult challenges. As the Lord said to His disciples, even those who are closest to them could betray them and bring harm to them, but regardless, He will always keep them in His love.

That is why we need to keep our faith in God, knowing that when everything else is lost, and when we think that no one else in this world cares for us or believes in us, God is always there for us, no matter what. And we need to know this, so that we too may believe in Him. Many have fallen deeper and deeper into sin and into despair because they had no faith in God’s love and providence.

Brothers and sisters in Christ, therefore, all of us as Christians, who have been called to succeed and continue the good works of the Apostles, we also ought to put our trust in God, just as Jacob and the Apostles have been faithful and trusting in God. Let us all draw ever closer to Him, let us all trust Him with more commitment from now on, and devote ourselves, our effort and time to serve Him.

May the Lord continue to guide us in our journey of life, and may He strengthen us in faith, that each and every one of us may draw immensely from the font of God’s love and grace, from His providence and care. May He empower us to live ever more Christian-like, each and every moments of our lives. Amen.

Friday, 12 July 2019 : 14th Week of Ordinary Time (Gospel Reading)

Liturgical Colour : Green

Matthew 10 : 16-23

At that time, Jesus said to His disciples, “Look, I send you out like sheep among wolves. You must be as clever as snakes and as innocent as doves. Be on your guard with people, for they will hand you over to their courts, and they will flog you in their synagogues. You will be brought to trial before rulers and kings because of Me, so that you may witness to them and the pagans.”

“But when you are arrested, do not worry about what you are to say, or how you are to say it; when the hour comes, you will be given what you are to say. For it will not be you who speak, but the Spirit of your Father, speaking through you.”

“Brother will hand over his brother to death, and a father his child; children will turn against their parents and have them put to death. Everyone will hate you because of Me, but whoever stands firm to the end will be saved. When they persecute you in one town, flee to the next. I tell you the truth, you will not have passed through all the towns of Israel before the Son of Man comes.”

Friday, 12 July 2019 : 14th Week of Ordinary Time (Psalm)

Liturgical Colour : Green

Psalm 36 : 3-4, 18-19, 27-28, 39-40

Trust in YHVH and do good; dwell in the land and live on it. Make YHVH your delight; and He will grant your heart’s desire.

YHVH watches over the lives of the upright; forever will their inheritance abide. They are not crushed in times of calamity; when famine strikes, they still are satisfied.

Do good and shun evil, so that you will live secure forever. For YHVH loves justice and right, and never forsakes His faithful ones. The wicked, instead, will perish, and their breed will be cut off.

YHVH is the salvation of the righteous; in time of distress, He is their refuge. YHVH helps them, and rescues them from the oppressor; He saves them, for they sought shelter in Him.

Friday, 12 July 2019 : 14th Week of Ordinary Time (First Reading)

Liturgical Colour : Green

Genesis 46 : 1-7, 28-30

Israel left with all he owned and reached Beersheba where he offered sacrifices to the God of his father Isaac. God spoke to Israel in visions that he had during the night. “Jacob! Jacob!” “Here I am,” he said. “I am God, the God of your father. Do not be afraid to go to Egypt, for there I will make you into a great nation. I will go with you to Egypt and I will bring you back again and Joseph’s hand will close your eyes.”

Jacob left Beersheba and the sons of Israel carried Jacob their father with their little children and their wives in the wagons that Joseph had sent to fetch him. They also took their flocks and all that they had acquired in Canaan. And so it was that Jacob came to Egypt and with him all his family, his sons and his grandsons, his daughters and his granddaughters, in short all his children he took with him to Egypt.

Jacob sent Judah ahead to let Joseph know he was coming and that he would soon arrive in the land of Goshen. Joseph got his chariot ready in order to meet Israel his father in Goshen. He presented himself, threw his arms around his father and wept on his shoulder for a long time. Israel said to Joseph, “Now I can die, for I have seen your face and know you are alive.”