First reading Genesis 49:29-33,50:15-26

‘God has turned the evil you planned into good’

Jacob gave his sons these instructions, ‘I am about to be gathered to my people. Bury me near my fathers, in the cave that is in the field of Ephron the Hittite, in the cave in the field at Machpelah, opposite Mamre, in the land of Canaan, which Abraham bought from Ephron the Hittite as a burial-plot. There Abraham was buried and his wife Sarah. There Isaac was buried and his wife Rebekah. There I buried Leah. I mean the field and the cave in it that were bought from the sons of Heth.’
  When Jacob had finished giving his instructions to his sons, he drew his feet up into the bed, and breathing his last was gathered to his people.
  Seeing that their father was dead, Joseph’s brothers said, ‘What if Joseph intends to treat us as enemies and repay us in full for all the wrong we did him?’ So they sent this message to Joseph: ‘Before your father died he gave us this order: “You must say to Joseph: Oh forgive your brothers their crime and their sin and all the wrong they did you.” Now therefore, we beg you, forgive the crime of the servants of your father’s God.’ Joseph wept at the message they sent to him.
  His brothers came themselves and fell down before him. ‘We present ourselves before you’ they said ‘as your slaves.’ But Joseph answered them, ‘Do not be afraid; is it for me to put myself in God’s place? The evil you planned to do me has by God’s design been turned to good, that he might bring about, as indeed he has, the deliverance of a numerous people. So you need not be afraid; I myself will provide for you and your dependants.’ In this way he reassured them with words that touched their hearts.
  So Joseph stayed in Egypt with his father’s family; and Joseph lived a hundred and ten years. Joseph saw the third generation of Ephraim’s children, as also the children of Machir, Manasseh’s son, who were born on Joseph’s lap. At length Joseph said to his brothers, ‘I am about to die; but God will be sure to remember you kindly and take you back from this country to the land that he promised on oath to Abraham, Isaac and Jacob.’ And Joseph made Israel’s sons swear an oath, ‘When God remembers you with kindness be sure to take my bones from here.’
  Joseph died at the age of a hundred and ten; they embalmed him and laid him in his coffin in Egypt.
 

Responsorial Psalm 104(105):1-4,6-7

Seek the Lord, you who are poor, and your hearts will revive.
 
Give thanks to the Lord, tell his name,
  make known his deeds among the peoples.
O sing to him, sing his praise;
  tell all his wonderful works!
 
Be proud of his holy name,
  let the hearts that seek the Lord rejoice.
Consider the Lord and his strength;
  constantly seek his face.
 
O children of Abraham, his servant,
  O sons of the Jacob he chose.
He, the Lord, is our God:
  his judgements prevail in all the earth.
 

Gospel Matthew 10:24-33

Everything now hidden will be made clear

Jesus instructed the Twelve as follows: ‘The disciple is not superior to his teacher, nor the slave to his master. It is enough for the disciple that he should grow to be like his teacher, and the slave like his master. If they have called the master of the house Beelzebul, what will they not say of his household?
  ‘Do not be afraid of them therefore. For everything that is now covered will be uncovered, and everything now hidden will be made clear. What I say to you in the dark, tell in the daylight; what you hear in whispers, proclaim from the housetops.
  ‘Do not be afraid of those who kill the body but cannot kill the soul; fear him rather who can destroy both body and soul in hell. Can you not buy two sparrows for a penny? And yet not one falls to the ground without your Father knowing. Why, every hair on your head has been counted. So there is no need to be afraid; you are worth more than hundreds of sparrows.
  ‘So if anyone declares himself for me in the presence of men, I will declare myself for him in the presence of my Father in heaven. But the one who disowns me in the presence of men, I will disown in the presence of my Father in heaven.’
 
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No need to be afraid

“So there is no need to be afraid; you are worth more than many sparrows”. We are often afraid of many things. We are scared of what will happen to us in the future, falling sick, losing our jobs, etc. Fear has the power to either drive us forward or pull us back. Jesus knows that fear can stop us from truly living our identity as His disciples and following Him to bring the gospel to others. He has always been honest about the hardship we will experience when we say “Yes” to work in the mission field. However, He invites us never to lose sight of God. God, our loving Father, knows and cares for us. Thus, we need to trust that we are safe in God’s hands.
 
Discipleship implies a life centred on living in an intimate loving union with God. Let us live this day with the desire to be with God and experience His loving protection over us.
 
Reflective questions:
Do I struggle to trust that God knows and cares for me? Why?
 
Acknowledgment: Reflections are based on “Prayer for Living: The Word of God for Daily Prayer Year A” by Sr Sandra Seow FMVD.