July 12, 2019 (Friday of Week 14 Year B)
Sheep among wolves!
Dear friends in Christ, the Christian life is tough, particularly when he has to deal with those who do not share his values. Not only as regards non-Christians, but all those who are opposed to the true Christian principles. However, as difficult as the challenges may be, he has God for his comfort and help.
In the first reading of today, (Genesis 46:1-7,28-30) Jacob with the entire family, reunites with Joseph in Egypt. God assured Jacob on his way saying, “I am God, the God of your father; do not be afraid to go down to Egypt; for I will there, make of you a great nation, I will go down with you to Egypt and I will also bring you up again; and Joseph’s hand shall close your eyes.” God is faithful to his promises. Just as He promised to Abraham and to Isaac, he did so to Jacob as well. A great assurance in this message is the fact that, God promised to go down to Egypt with him. We are never away from God’s presence. He goes before us, with us, and after us, as his children. We must cherish his loving presence by staying clear of sin and the ways of evil.
Joseph “…went up to meet Israel his father in Goshen; and he presented himself to him, and fell on his neck, and wept on his neck a good while.” What a great re-union with boundless joy, marked by their tears. In his joy, Israel said to Joseph, “Now let me die, since I have seen your face and know that you are still alive.” One can only imagine his sorrows in the many years of their separation.
In the Gospel of today (Matthew 10:16-23) Jesus described how dangerous the apostolic mission will be for the disciples, “Behold, I send you out as sheep in the midst of wolves; so be wise as serpents and innocent as doves.” To expect that Christianity is an escape from the challenges of life will not reflect Jesus’ own teaching. He knew that people will not only reject the message of salvation, they will also arrest the messengers and persecute them. He therefore warns the apostles ahead of time to be prepared. “Beware of men; for they will deliver you up to councils, and flog you in their synagogues, and you will be dragged before governors and kings for my sake, to bear testimony before them and the Gentiles.” He promised them the guidance of the Holy Spirit, as they face their challenges. That is the way they will witness to the truth of the kingdom. “He who endures to the end will be saved.” Today’s psalm reminds us that, “From the Lord comes the salvation of the just, their stronghold in time of distress…The Lord helps them and rescues them…because they take refuge in him.” In the difficulties you go through today for doing what is right, fear not, take refuge in the Lord, and he will be your refuge and strength.
Let us pray: Lord, be my rock and refuge, for I have committed my life to you. Amen. May the Almighty God bless you, the Father and the Son and the Holy Spirit. Amen.