July 8, 2021 – Thursday 14th Week in Ordinary Time
Click here for the readings (https://bible.usccb.org/bible/readings/070821.cfm)
Days before the departure for our Parish Mission in Balabagan, Lanao del Sur, I made sure that all I need were in my ‘bags’. I doubled checked my things to be sure that I have not forgotten anything. My bags were full and heavy as I loaded them into our mission vehicle. When I arrived in the area, I realized that I brought a lot of useless things.
At home and at school, I was trained to be prepared and self-sufficient. Hence, it became natural to me to make myself ready, prepared for anything to happen, and independent.
Yet, Jesus reminded his Apostles to bring what was only most essential as they were sent to cure the illnesses of the people, to bring life and forgiveness, to bring blessing and peace to many homes.
I find this quite harsh and truly difficult. However, there is wisdom behind the words of Jesus. Our desire to be prepared, to be independent and self-sufficient would sometimes come from our deep anxiety of what would come next.
But what if a circumstance would not allow us to have any preparation? What if an event would surprisingly come and we have nothing to bring but go ahead with nothing? Surely, this will make us insecure and helpless.
This reminds me of Joseph who was stripped of anything he had. He was sold as a slave to the Egyptians by his own brothers. He was seduced by the wife of his master and then, imprisoned unjustly. He was forgotten in the prison for 13 years.
Nonetheless, Joseph remained faithful and trustful to God despite those terrible and horrible events in the life. Joseph remained calm and discerning as a person. As Joseph had nothing with him in his journey to Egypt as a slave, Joseph also did not hold any grudges and bitterness in his heart. He did not let his anger, resentment and hatred to burden and overpower him and prevent him from discovering and doing what God prepared for him. This is how Joseph found himself to be the savior of his own family and of many peoples when famine hit the world. God prepared him for this so that in Joseph, forgiveness shall be granted and life shall be given.
This is the reason why Jesus told the Apostles not bring anything so that they too will be able to welcome the generosity of God through the generosity of the people. Joseph was also grateful for those people who helped him and especially to the Pharaoh who gave him freedom and responsibility to bring life to many peoples.
Let us allow ourselves then, to be helped by others. In return, let us also allow ourselves to be of help to those who are in need so that through us, God’s generosity will overflow. In this way, we shall be able to bring healing, life, forgiveness and peace into our homes and communities. Hinaut pa.