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A team of 200 priests comment on daily Gospel

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Liturgical day: Wednesday 14th in Ordinary Time

1st Reading (Gen 41:55-57;42:5-7.17-24a): When hunger came to be felt throughout the land of Egypt and the people cried to Pharaoh for bread, Pharaoh directed all the Egyptians to go to Joseph and do whatever he told them. When the famine had spread throughout the land, Joseph opened all the cities that had grain and rationed it to the Egyptians, since the famine had gripped the land of Egypt. In fact, all the world came to Joseph to obtain rations of grain, for famine had gripped the whole world.

The sons of Israel were among those who came to procure rations. It was Joseph, as governor of the country, who dispensed the rations to all the people. When Joseph's brothers came and knelt down before him with their faces to the ground, he recognized them as soon as he saw them. But Joseph concealed his own identity from them and spoke sternly to them. With that, he locked them up in the guardhouse for three days.

On the third day Joseph said to his brothers: «Do this, and you shall live; for I am a God-fearing man. If you have been honest, only one of your brothers need be confined in this prison, while the rest of you may go and take home provisions for your starving families. But you must come back to me with your youngest brother. Your words will thus be verified, and you will not die». To this they agreed. To one another, however, they said: «Alas, we are being punished because of our brother. We saw the anguish of his heart when he pleaded with us, yet we paid no heed; that is why this anguish has now come upon us». Reuben broke in, «Did I not tell you not to do wrong to the boy? But you would not listen! Now comes the reckoning for his blood». The brothers did not know, of course, that Joseph understood what they said, since he spoke with them through an interpreter. But turning away from them, he wept.
Responsorial Psalm: 32
R/. Lord, let your mercy be on us, as we place our trust in you.
Give thanks to the Lord on the harp; with the ten-stringed lyre chant his praises. Sing to him a new song; pluck the strings skillfully, with shouts of gladness.

The Lord brings to nought the plans of nations; he foils the designs of peoples. But the plan of the Lord stands forever; the design of his heart, through all generations.

But see, the eyes of the Lord are upon those who fear him, upon those who hope for his kindness, to deliver them from death and preserve them in spite of famine.
Verscicle before the Gospel (Mk 1:15): Alleluia. The Kingdom of God is at hand: repent and believe in the Gospel. Alleluia.

Gospel text (Mt 10,1-7): Jesus called his twelve disciples to him and gave them authority over the unclean spirits to drive them out and to heal every disease and sickness. These are the names of the twelve apostles: first Simon, called Peter, and his brother Andrew; James, the son of Zebedee, and his brother John; Philip and Bartholomew, Thomas and Matthew, the tax collector; James, the son of Alphaeus, and Thaddaeus; Simon, the Canaanite, and Judas Iscariot, the man who would betray him. Jesus sent these twelve on mission with the instruction: «Do not visit pagan territory and do not enter a Samaritan town. Go instead to the lost sheep of the people of Israel. Go and proclaim this message: ‘The kingdom of heaven is near’».

«Go and proclaim this message: ‘The kingdom of heaven is near’»

Fr. Fernando PERALES i Madueño
(Terrassa, Barcelona, Spain)

Today, the Gospel shows us Jesus sending his Apostles on a mission: «Jesus sent these twelve on mission with these instructions...» (Mt 10:5). The twelve make up the “Apostolic College”, that is “missionary”. The Church, in its earthly pilgrimage, is a Missionary Community, as its origin lies in the fulfillment of the mission of the Son and the Holy Spirit, following God Father's divine intentions. In the same way as Peter and the other Apostles, by institution of our Lord, constituted a single Apostolic College, the Roman Pontiff, Peter's successor, and the Bishops, successors of the Apostles, form a body which has the duty to announce the Gospel everywhere.

Among the disciples sent on mission we find those with an outstanding position, given by Christ, and a greater responsibility, such as Peter; and others, as Thaddaeus, whom we practically know nothing about; however, the Gospels, which communicate Good News, were not intended to satisfy our curiosity. On our side, we are supposed to pray for all the bishops, for the famous and for the not so famous ones, while living in communion with them: «See that you all follow the bishop as Jesus Christ follows the Father and the presbytery as you would the apostles...» (St. Ignatious of Antioch). Jesus was not looking for cultivated people, but simply for people who were available, willing and able to follow him to the end. This means that, as a Christian, I must also feel responsible of a part of Jesus' plan of salvation. Do I keep away from evil? Do I help my fellow-men?

As their mission was just beginning, Jesus hurries to give them instructions with some limitations: «Do not visit pagan territory and do not enter a Samaritan town. Go instead to the lost sheep of the people of Israel. Go and proclaim this message: ‘The kingdom of heaven is near’» (Mt 10:5-6). Today we must do what we can, with the certainty that God is calling all pagans and Samaritans in another phase of the missionary work.