Memorial of Saint Kateri Tekakwitha, Virgin - 14th July 2017
Reading 1, Genesis 46:1-7, 28-30
1 So Israel set out with all his possessions. Arriving at Beersheba, he offered sacrifices to the God of his father Isaac.
2 God spoke to Israel in a vision at night, 'Jacob, Jacob,' he said. 'Here I am,' he replied.
7 With him to Egypt, he brought his sons and grandsons, his daughters and granddaughters -- all his offspring.
28 Israel sent Judah ahead to Joseph, so that Judah might present himself to Joseph in Goshen. When they arrived in Goshen,
29 Joseph had his chariot made ready and went up to Goshen to meet his father Israel. As soon as he appeared he threw his arms round his neck and for a long time wept on his shoulder.
30 Israel said to Joseph, 'Now I can die, now that I have seen you in person and seen you still alive.'
The Word of the Lord.
Responsorial Psalm, Psalms 37:3-4, 18-19, 27-28, 39-40
The salvation of the just comes from the Lord.
3 Put your trust in Yahweh and do right, make your home in the land and live secure.
18 The lives of the just are in Yahweh's care, their birthright will endure for ever;
39 The upright have Yahweh for their Saviour, their refuge in times of trouble;
40 Yahweh helps them and rescues them, he will rescue them from the wicked, and save them because they take refuge in him.
R. Alleluia, alleluia.
When the Spirit of truth comes,
he will guide you to all truth
and remind you of all I told you.
R. Alleluia, alleluia.
Gospel, Matthew 10:16-23
Sheep in the midst of wolves - wise and innocent
16 Look, I am sending you out like sheep among wolves; so be cunning as snakes and yet innocent as doves.
17 'Be prepared for people to hand you over to sanhedrins and scourge you in their synagogues.
23 If they persecute you in one town, take refuge in the next; and if they persecute you in that, take refuge in another. In truth I tell you, you will not have gone the round of the towns of Israel before the Son of man comes.
The Gospel of the Lord.
Reflection: Jesus never hesitated to tell his disciples what they might expect if they chose to follow him. Here Jesus says to his disciples: This is my task for you at its grimmest and worst - do you accept it? This is not the world's way of recruitment for service and toil with promise of honor and reward. After the British defeat at Dunkirk (June 1940), Churchill offered his country blood, toil, sweat, and tears.
This is not the message we prefer to hear when the Lord Jesus commissions us in his service for the advancement of God's kingdom and the battle against Satan's kingdom of darkness and death. Nonetheless, our privilege is to follow in the footsteps of the Lord and Master who willingly laid down his life for us in order to bring us victory over Satan, sin, and death. Are you willing to accept hardship and suffering in serving the Lord Jesus Christ?
Prayer: "Lord Jesus, help me to patiently and joyfully accept the hardships, adversities, and persecution which come my way in serving you and your kingdom of love, truth, and goodness. Strengthen my faith and give me courage that I may not shrink back from doing your will." Amen.
The readiness to serve and face hardship for Christ and his kingdom.