Thursday, 8 July 2021 : 14th Week of Ordinary Time (Gospel Reading)

Liturgical Colour : Green

Matthew 10 : 7-15

At that time, Jesus said to His disciples, “Go, and proclaim this message : The kingdom of Heaven is near. Heal the sick, bring the dead back to life, cleanse the lepers, and drive out demons. Freely have you received, freely give. Do not carry any gold or silver or money in your purses. Do not take a travelling bag, or an extra shirt, or sandals, or a walking stick : workers deserve to be compensated.”

“When you come to a town or a village, look for a worthy person, and stay there until you leave. When you enter the house, wish it peace. If the people are worthy people, your peace will rest on them; if they are not worthy people, your blessing will come back to you.”

“And if you are not welcomed, and your words are not listened to, leave that house or that town, and shake the dust off your feet. I assure you, it will go easier for the people of Sodom and Gomorrah on the day of judgment, than it will for the people of that town.”

Thursday, 8 July 2021 : 14th Week of Ordinary Time (Psalm)

Liturgical Colour : Green

Psalm 104 : 16-17, 18-19, 20-21

Then YHVH sent a famine and ruined the crop that sustained the land; He sent a man ahead of them, Joseph, who was sold as a slave.

His feet in shackles, his neck in irons; till what he foretold came to pass, and YHVH’s word proved him true.

The king sent for him; set him free; the ruler of the peoples released him. He put him in charge of his household and made him ruler of all his possessions.

Thursday, 8 July 2021 : 14th Week of Ordinary Time (First Reading)

Liturgical Colour : Green

Genesis 44 : 18-21, 23b-29 and Genesis 45 : 1-5

Judah then went forward and said, “My lord, allow your servant to speak. Do not be angry with your servant, although you are equal to Pharaoh himself. The last time you questioned your servants saying : ‘Have you a father or a brother?’ We said to my lord : ‘We have an aged father who had a child in his old age. His brother is dead and he is the only one left of his mother’s children. And his father loves him.'”

“Then you said to us : ‘Bring him down so that I can see him for myself, if your youngest brother did not come with you, you would not be admitted to my presence.’ All this we said to our father on returning there. So when he told us to come back and buy a little food, we said : ‘We cannot go down again unless our youngest brother is with us. We shall not be admitted to the lord’s presence unless our brother is with us.'”

“Then my father said : ‘You know that my wife had two children. One went away from me and has surely been torn to pieces since I have not seen him anymore. If you take this one from me and something happens to him you will bring my gray hair in sorrow to the grave.'”

Now Joseph could no longer control his feelings in the presence of all those standing by and he called out, “Leave my presence, everyone!” And only his brothers were with him when Joseph made himself known to them. He wept so loudly that the Egyptians heard and the news spread through Pharaoh’s house.

Joseph said to his brothers, “I am Joseph. Is my father still alive?” And his brothers could not answer because they were terrified at seeing him. Joseph said, “Come closer,” and they drew nearer. “I am Joseph your brother, yes, it is me, the one you sold to the Egyptians. Now do not grieve or reproach yourselves for selling me, because God has sent me before you to save your lives.”

Wednesday, 7 July 2021 : 14th Week of Ordinary Time (Homily and Scripture Reflections)

Liturgical Colour : Green

Dear brothers and sisters in Christ, today as we listened to the words of the Scripture, we heard the reminder for us to reach out to our fellow brothers and sisters, that is we all need to share the love of God to those whom we encounter in life, and commit ourselves to follow the Lord with faith, with dedication and the desire to spread His message and truth, to all the people of all the nations, in the footsteps of the Apostles.

The Lord showed His love to His people when He sent Joseph, one of the sons of Jacob, or Israel, into Egypt ahead of his brothers and family. This happened as Joseph was despised earlier on in his youth by his elder brothers, as he was one of their father’s favourite, being born of his beloved wife, Rachel, in his old age, besides Benjamin, the youngest son. As Jacob showered Joseph with lots of affection, this made many among the older brothers jealous and angry. His dream in which he saw his elder brothers and his own father bowing before him made them even angrier.

This resulted in them plotting for Joseph’s death, which was also thwarted by the efforts of Ruben, his elder brother, who tried to convince them otherwise, and by the suggestions that they sold him to a Midianite slaver instead of killing him. And that was how Joseph ended up in Egypt, and became a slave in the household of Potiphar, one of the Egyptian Pharaoh’s officials. When he was falsely accused of trying to sleep with Potiphar’s wife, he was arrested and put in prison.

But by God’s grace, Joseph became a very successful man in Egypt, as he was rescued by the Lord, and his ability to interpret dreams came to the attention of the Pharaoh, who after hearing the interpretation of his dreadful dream, made him no less than the Regent of the entire kingdom, as the second most powerful man in the whole realm just after the Pharaoh himself. And it was before this Regent of Egypt, whom Joseph’s brothers came to as described in our first reading today.

The whole land, the whole earth suffered from a great famine just as predicted by the dreams of the Pharaoh, after years of great bounty. But Joseph was there in Egypt to advise the Pharaoh by God’s guidance, to save up plenty of food during the years of prosperity, and that was how God blessed His people and saved them even many years beforehand, as Joseph would later on say upon revealing himself eventually to his astounded brothers.

This is what we have heard of God’s love for us, how even when we mankind plotted bad things against others, He changed what was bad and terrible into something that is good instead. He still patiently leads us and guides us through the right path, despite our disobedience and wickedness, all these while. And He sent His disciples to go before Him, as we heard in our Gospel passage today, to bring forth the message of His truth and love to everyone.

Brothers and sisters in Christ, today as we listened to these readings from the Scripture, we are reminded that we should be more obedient and faithful to the Lord, learning to entrust ourselves to Him and walk faithfully in His path. We should not allow worldly temptations and desires to be hurdles and obstacles that distract us and prevent us from reaching this goal of finding the Lord and reaching His salvation and grace. God wants us all to listen to Him and to follow Him with all of our heart and might.

Let us all therefore follow in the footsteps of the Apostles and all those whom God had sent into this world to bring more and more of His beloved people back to Him. We are the successors of the works of the Apostles, and there are many things that we can do in reaching out in our daily living, to our fellow brothers and sisters, that through us many more people may come to the Lord and be saved, together with us. May God bless us always, now and forevermore. Amen.