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Liturgical day: Saturday 14th in Ordinary Time

1st Reading (Gen 49:29-32; 50:15-26a): Jacob gave his sons this charge: «Since I am about to be taken to my people, bury me with my fathers in the cave that lies in the field of Ephron the Hittite, the cave in the field of Machpelah, facing on Mamre, in the land of Canaan, the field that Abraham bought from Ephron the Hittite for a burial ground. There Abraham and his wife Sarah are buried, and so are Isaac and his wife Rebekah, and there, too, I buried Leah, the field and the cave in it that had been purchased from the Hittites».

Now that their father was dead, Joseph's brothers became fearful and thought, «Suppose Joseph has been nursing a grudge against us and now plans to pay us back in full for all the wrong we did him!». So they approached Joseph and said: «Before your father died, he gave us these instructions: ‘You shall say to Joseph, Jacob begs you to forgive the criminal wrongdoing of your brothers, who treated you so cruelly’. Please, therefore, forgive the crime that we, the servants of your father's God, committed». When they spoke these words to him, Joseph broke into tears. Then his brothers proceeded to fling themselves down before him and said, «Let us be your slaves!». But Joseph replied to them: «Have no fear. Can I take the place of God? Even though you meant harm to me, God meant it for good, to achieve his present end, the survival of many people. Therefore have no fear. I will provide for you and for your children». By thus speaking kindly to them, he reassured them.

Joseph remained in Egypt, together with his father's family. He lived a hundred and ten years. He saw Ephraim's children to the third generation, and the children of Manasseh's son Machir were also born on Joseph's knees. Joseph said to his brothers: «I am about to die. God will surely take care of you and lead you out of this land to the land that he promised on oath to Abraham, Isaac and Jacob». Then, putting the sons of Israel under oath, he continued, «When God thus takes care of you, you must bring my bones up with you from this place». Joseph died at the age of a hundred and ten.
Responsorial Psalm: 104
R/. Be glad you lowly ones; may your hearts be glad!
Give thanks to the Lord, invoke his name; make known among the nations his deeds. Sing to him, sing his praise, proclaim all his wondrous deeds.

Glory in his holy name; rejoice, o hearts that seek the Lord! Look to the Lord in his strength; seek to serve him constantly.

You descendants of Abraham, his servants, sons of Jacob, his chosen ones! He, the Lord, is our God; throughout the earth his judgments prevail.
Versicle before the Gospel (1Pt 4:14): Alleluia. If you are insulted for the name of Christ, blessed are you, for the Spirit of God rests upon you. Alleluia.

Gospel text (Mt 10,24-33): Jesus said to his apostles, «A student is not above his teacher, or a slave above his master. A student should be glad to become like his teacher, and the slave like his master. If the head of the family has been called Beelzebul, how much more the members of the family! So, do not be afraid of them.

»There is nothing covered that will not be uncovered, and nothing hidden that will not be made known. What I am telling you in the dark, you must speak in the light. What you hear in private, proclaim from the housetops. Do not be afraid of those who kill the body, but have no power to kill the soul. Rather be afraid of him who can destroy both body and soul in hell. For only a few cents you can buy two sparrows, yet not one sparrow falls to the ground without your Father's consent. As for you, every hair of your head has been counted. So do not be afraid: you are worth much more than many sparrows.

»Whoever acknowledges me before others I will acknowledge before my Father in heaven. Whoever rejects me before others I will reject before my Father in heaven».

«A student is not above his teacher»

Fr. Raimondo M. SORGIA Mannai OP
(San Domenico di Fiesole, Florencia, Italy)

Today, the Gospel invites us to ponder over the relationship student teacher: «A student is not above his teacher, or a slave above his master» (Mt 10:24). Amongst us it is not impossible a student can excel over the teacher who taught him the basics of a given subject. We have instances in History like the painter Giotto who quickly surpassed his teacher Cimbaue, or Manzoni, excelling over abbot Pieri. But the key to supreme wisdom is to be found only in the hands of the Man-God, where all of us can share it, although with a possibility to absorb it at different levels: from the great theologist St. Thomas Aquinas down to the boy getting ready for his First Communion. We may adorn it with as many different styled ornaments as we wish, but they will never amount to anything of essence that may enrich the intrinsic value of the doctrine. And, on the other hand, there are chances we may fall into some kind of heresy.

We must be careful not to try any mixtures that may distort us without any substantial contribution to the Good News. St. Augustine says, «We must abstain from meals, but even more so should we be fasting in errors». One time, someone lent me a book about the Guardian Angels where mention is made of some esoteric doctrines, such as the metempsychosis, and of an incomprehensible need of redemption allegedly affecting these pure spirits confirmed in goodness.

Today's Gospel opens our eyes to the unavoidable fact the student may, at times, be misunderstood, face obstacles or even be persecuted for declaring himself a follower of Christ. Jesus' life was a continuous service in defense of truth. If He was even named “Beelzebul”, it is not surprising that in quarrels, in cultural confrontations or in TV debates we are called retrogrades. Our faithfulness to Christ-Master is the maximum acknowledgement, which we can be proud of: «Whoever acknowledges me before others I will acknowledge before my Father in Heaven» (Mt 10:32).