Read Exodus 1:8-14,22, Ps. 124, 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)
In today’s first reading, we read: “Now there arose in Egypt a Pharaoh who did not know Joseph….” How come there was a Pharaoh who did not know Joseph? How did the entire nation of Egypt forget so quickly about Joseph, who saved their country during the famine? One big mistake we often make is our failure to teach history to our children.
On the other hand, this Pharaoh may have known Joseph but decided to ignore the past. Perhaps, seeing the high rate of population increase among the Israelites, he feared that the Egyptians might become minorities in their land.
As humans, we tend to forget quickly the good things that others have done for us even though we struggle to let go of past hurts. It was easy for Pharaoh to forget how Joseph saved Egypt from famine. Do you remember to thank people for the good things they do for you?
I saw a video on Facebook about a young man with kidney failure. None of his family members agreed to donate a kidney to him, even though theirs could match. His fiancé, out of love, presented one of hers. However, as soon as he left the hospital, he told her he could not marry her because his family members said she was no longer complete.
On the part of the Israelites, one may ask: “How come they refused to return home after the famine?” The land of Canaan they left upon Joseph’s invitation to Egypt was now flowing with milk and honey, so much so that its inhabitants had become giants (too much food). Yet, the Israelites were languishing under Pharaoh’s persecution.
How often do we become too comfortable in a foreign land that we forget about our home? There is nothing wrong with seeking greener pastures abroad, but don’t forget your home. Like these Israelites, we too have come to love this world so that we forget we are only sojourners on earth.
In today’s Gospel passage, Jesus says: “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 ours? Do not be surprised that the world hates you. You don’t belong here. Your true homeland (heaven) is flowing with milk and honey, so don’t compromise your values for the love of this world. No wonder Jesus asked: “What shall it profit you to gain the whole world and lose your soul?” (Mark 8:38).
Let us pray: Almighty ever-living God, may my love for you be more significant than my love for this world. Through our Lord Jesus Christ. 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, Ps. 124, Matthew 10:34-11:1).
@Rev. Fr. Evaristus E. Abu