Little Whispers, Tal Jalandoni

Free to Respond

First Reading
GN 44:18-21, 23B-29; 45:1-5
Judah approached Joseph and said: “I beg you, my lord,
let your servant speak earnestly to my lord,
and do not become angry with your servant,
for you are the equal of Pharaoh.
My lord asked your servants, ‘Have you a father, or another brother?’
So we said to my lord, ‘We have an aged father,
and a young brother, the child of his old age.
This one’s full brother is dead,
and since he is the only one by that mother who is left,
his father dotes on him.’
Then you told your servants,
‘Bring him down to me that my eyes may look on him.
Unless your youngest brother comes back with you,
you shall not come into my presence again.’
When we returned to your servant our father,
we reported to him the words of my lord.

“Later, our father told us to come back and buy some food for the family.
So we reminded him, ‘We cannot go down there;
only if our youngest brother is with us can we go,
for we may not see the man if our youngest brother is not with us.’
Then your servant our father said to us,
‘As you know, my wife bore me two sons.
One of them, however, disappeared, and I had to conclude
that he must have been torn to pieces by wild beasts;
I have not seen him since.
If you now take this one away from me, too,
and some disaster befalls him,
you will send my white head down to the nether world in grief.’“

Joseph could no longer control himself
in the presence of all his attendants,
so he cried out, “Have everyone withdraw from me!”
Thus no one else was about when he made himself known to his brothers.
But his sobs were so loud that the Egyptians heard him,
and so the news reached Pharaoh’s palace.
“I am Joseph,” he said to his brothers.
“Is my father still in good health?”
But his brothers could give him no answer,
so dumbfounded were they at him.

“Come closer to me,” he told his brothers.
When they had done so, he said:
“I am your brother Joseph, whom you once sold into Egypt.
But now do not be distressed,
and do not reproach yourselves for having sold me here.
It was really for the sake of saving lives
that God sent me here ahead of you.”

Responsorial Psalm
PS 105:16-17, 18-19, 20-21
R. (5a) Remember the marvels the Lord has done.
or:
R. Alleluia.
When the LORD called down a famine on the land
and ruined the crop that sustained them,
He sent a man before them,
Joseph, sold as a slave.
R. Remember the marvels the Lord has done.
or:
R. Alleluia.
They had weighed him down with fetters,
and he was bound with chains,
Till his prediction came to pass
and the word of the LORD proved him true.
R. Remember the marvels the Lord has done.
or:
R. Alleluia.
The king sent and released him,
the ruler of the peoples set him free.
He made him lord of his house
and ruler of all his possessions.
R. Remember the marvels the Lord has done.
or:
R. Alleluia.

Gospel
MT 10:7-15
Jesus said to his Apostles:
“As you go, make this proclamation:
‘The Kingdom of heaven is at hand.’
Cure the sick, raise the dead,
cleanse the lepers, drive out demons.
Without cost you have received; without cost you are to give.
Do not take gold or silver or copper for your belts;
no sack for the journey, or a second tunic,
or sandals, or walking stick.
The laborer deserves his keep.
Whatever town or village you enter, look for a worthy person in it,
and stay there until you leave.
As you enter a house, wish it peace.
If the house is worthy,
let your peace come upon it;
if not, let your peace return to you.
Whoever will not receive you or listen to your words—
go outside that house or town and shake the dust from your feet.
Amen, I say to you, it will be more tolerable
for the land of Sodom and Gomorrah on the day of judgment
than for that town.”


Do It Anyway

“As you enter a house, wish it peace. If the house is worthy let your peace come upon it; if not, let your peace return to you. Whoever will not receive you or listen to your words- go outside that house or town and shake the dust from your feet.” Mt 10:12-14

REFLECTION

Have you ever done something good and in return people failed to appreciate your efforts? That’s a tale too common. Today’s readings prove that even ages ago, unrequited deeds are a normal case, even for His disciples.

In my ten years of service in a religious community, I could say the same thing. One time, the members of the ministry that I belonged to and I had a fight. I was very hurt by my co-members because I felt the loss of unity and they proved absent when I expected all to be there as a team to do our work. Hurtful words were said and it was ugly. After the silent treatment, calming down and prayers, God granted us the time, place and right condition of our hearts to talk openly to one another and receive healing in our relationship. As I said my piece and they theirs, I realized that they too were hurt by the actions of others and even mine which led us to hurt one another. We, who were serving God, people who had good intentions, were all caught in the vicious cycle of rejection.

Too many times, one moment of rejection gets the best years of good people. But today God tells us that He has long ago given us the freedom and power to break the cycle and choose another response. So if you find yourself cut by a car out of the blue, or treated poorly by a sales clerk, or giving money and told it’s not enough, STOP… and remember that while you do not have to deny your feelings, you also do not have to let rejection and your emotions get the best of you. And in this critical moment of decision, you can take your feelings and turn to Jesus and let Him cover your injustice. He says, “Ako na’ng bahala dito. Pahinga ka na.”

Today, may peace return to you, my friend! Let your goodness surpass your intentions and let it reach your responses. Everyday, God says you can. Because Jesus made you free to do so. – Tal Jalandoni (tacos.jalandoni@yahoo.com)

Prayer

Dear God, during times when temptation to retaliate is strong, strengthen in me the grace to stop and turn to You and remember that it’s between You and me and never between me and them anyway. Amen.

Reflection Question

Have I participated in the cycle of rejection lately?

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