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Fourteenth Week in Ordinary Time

Gen. 41:55-57, 42:5-7, 17-24 & Mt. 10:1-7

The story of Joseph in the Old Testament shows us how God guides the course of human events despite the evil intentions of some people.

Joseph was sold by his brothers into slavery and was taken to Egypt where, after many difficulties and a threat to his life, because of a false accusation, he eventually rose to a position of prominence. He was a prudent administrator who made provision for an expected famine. When they were starving his father and brothers went to Egypt looking for help, never realizing that God through their evil designs upon Joseph had sent him ahead to save them from the famine, and failing to recognize him.

How many parallels are there with the life of Jesus? He was sold to the chief priests, betrayed by one of His own Apostles. His own people failed to recognise Him as their Messiah despite the many miracles. Yet Jesus did not turn against His own. Rather it was precisely through this rejection and His death that salvation came to His people.

Jesus could never abandon the human race in a situation much worse than famine. We were starving spiritually but He gave us in His body and blood, the spiritual food, so that we should never be hungry again. We can never thank Him enough.

If Jesus’ kingdom is to grow He needs followers and in today's Gospel we see Him choosing His Apostles after spending the night in prayer. We know 11 of them became saints or martyrs. Sadly, one failed Jesus.

The calling of the Twelve should make us think of our own calling. For some reason you and I were given the gift of faith and we can claim to be Catholics, followers of Jesus, but we could have been born into a family of another faith, or no faith. We must believe that each one of us is hand-picked by Jesus for a particular job in His Kingdom.

How well are we doing that job? One day each one of us will be called to give an account of our calling. Will we be one of Jesus' successes or a failure? What was my prayer life like? How have I made use of the Sacraments of Holy Communion and Confession? Have I loved my neighbour? Can people see Christ in me? In the way I live my life do I draw people to Jesus? Have I been a good husband or wife? Have I set my children’s feet firmly on the road that leads to Heaven? These are some of the questions that we will have to answer and how well we are able to answer them will determine whether we have been a success or a failure. If Jesus were to ask these questions today what would be our answers?

Give me the strength, Holy Spirit, to do the work of this day and grant that, at its close, I may be found worthy of Your trust in me.

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