Read Exodus 1:8-14,22, Psalm 124 and Matthew 10:34-11:1
“He who does not take his cross and follow me is not worthy of me. He who finds his life will lose it, and he who loses his life for my sake will find it.” (Matthew 10:38-39)
I think it was Jim Reeves who sang:
This world is not my home, I'm just a-passin' through, My treasures are laid up somewhere beyond the blue, The angels beckon me from heaven's open door, And I can't feel at home in this world anymore. Oh Lord, You know I have no friend like you. If heaven's not my home then Lord what will I do? The angels beckon me from heaven's open door, And I can't feel at home in this world anymore.
Indeed there is no better summary for today’s readings than these few lines above.
“Now there arose in Egypt a Pharaoh who did not know Joseph…” How come a whole Pharaoh did not know about Joseph? How did the entire nation of Egypt forget so quickly that it was Joseph who saved their nation from crisis during the period of famine?
The greatest mistake we often make is our failure to teach our children about their history. Technology may change the way people do things but there is no advancement of technology that can change a people’s past.
That said, it is also possible that this Pharaoh was fully aware of the history of Joseph but for some reason decided to ignore the past. The sad reality of human nature is that people are always quick to forget the good you do for them but they never forget the wrongs you did to them.
Again, on the part of the Israelites, one may ask, how come they refused to return home after the famine? Did they forget they had a home? The same land they left upon Joseph’s invitation to Egypt was now flowing with milk and honey and the people who were now its inhabitants had become giants (too much food) yet the real owners of the Land, the Israelites, were languishing under Pharaoh’s persecution.
Does this not ring a bell? How often do we become too comfortable in a foreign land that we forget about our real home? Like the Israelites, we too have come to love this world that we forget we are only sojourners on earth.
We want to build mansions, have lots of money and so on and so forth. We even fast and pray, do all nights and beseech God to make things sweet and easy for us here on earth forgetting that Jesus said: “Seek ye first the kingdom of God and its righteousness...” (Matthew 6:33).
In today’s Gospel passage, Jesus goes further to say: “Do not think that I have come to bring peace on earth; I have not come to bring peace, but a sword… He who does not take his cross and follow me is not worthy of me. He who finds his life will lose it, and he who loses his life for my sake will find it.” (Matthew 10:34-39).
Why would Jesus say this if this world were actually ours? Do not be surprised when Pharaoh along with his cohorts becomes hostile to us. They hate us because we don’t belong here. If out of love for Egypt, we begin to compromise our faith, swim in sin and deny God, we would be making ourselves slaves in a foreign land whereas our true homeland is flowing with milk and honey. No wonder Jesus asked: “what shall it profit you to gain the whole world and lose your soul?” (Mark 8:38).
Let us pray: Lord Jesus may my love for you be greater than my love for this world. Amen.
Be Happy. Live Positive. Have Faith. It is well with you. God bless you. (Monday of week 15 in Ordinary Time. Bible Study: Exodus 1:8-14,22, Psalm 124 and Matthew 10:34-11:1).