Reflection on the Daily Readings for 7/11/09 by Fr. Bertrand Buby, SM

Today’s Readings

Scripture: Sat. of 14th week. Genesis 49:29-33,50:15-24. Psalm
105:1-2.3-4.6-7. Matthew 10:24-33. Lectionary # 388:

In verse 28 just before the reading for today, the twelve tribes of Israel
are mentioned. This is the firs time in the Bible that the number 12 is
used. It shows us the corporate identity and unity of Israel as the book of
Genesis comes to an end with an epilogue leading us to the information
about the death of Joseph.  Jacob's death is described and then that of his
cherished son, Joseph.  Joseph ends his life at 110 and tells us these
words, "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." Thus we
end the narratives of Genesis that we have been listening to for a few
weeks.  We will enter the story of the Exodus where Moses will be our guide
as prophet.  We are told that the following words end each of the five
books of the Torah: Egypt, journeys, Sinai, Jericho, Israel. "The last
words are a virtual summary of the Torah's narrative about the people
Israel, from slavery to Sinai to the Promised Land." (Etz Hayim, p.311).

Jesus continues to teach the apostles as his disciple who continue to learn
from him. Thus the distinction of apostle and disciple continues as we read
within the context and the world within the literary makeup of the text.
His words are strong and clear. They are being prepared to be apostles who
will proclaim his words and deeds boldly. Nothing is to be hidden or
mysterious; everything is to be brought to the light of day and nothing
said in darkness. They need to overcome all forms of fear and witness to
Jesus openly. Persecution will be theirs but they are to endure knowing
that he assures them that he and the Holy Spirit are present when they need
to respond to persecutors. He tells them and us, "Do not fear those who
deprive the body of life but cannot destroy the soul."

We too are learners and Jesus is our teacher. He prepares us to be apostles
by helping us to grow spiritually and to live lives that are integral and
truthfull. We are likewise assured that God is with us (Emmanuel) and that
our journey is an ongoing one that continues each day.  We therefore are to
ask for the grace of growing through discipleship till we are apostles sent
as ambassadors of the creative redemption that Jesus brought about for all
peoples and all times. Amen.