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Daily Reflection for Thursday, July 13, 2017

Peace and Blessings, Friends and Parishioners,

We encourage you to reflect on Thursday’s readings at this link:
http://www.usccb.org/bible/readings/071317.cfm

If you prefer to use your own Bible, the readings are:
First Reading: Genesis 44:18-21, 23b-29, 45:1-5
Responsorial: Psalm 105:16-21
Gospel: Matthew 10:7-15

Our reflection on Thursday’s readings:

“Without cost you have received; without cost you are to give.”   Matthew 10:8

When preparing a reflection I always desire to generate some way of interpreting the readings that might awaken in others a related epiphany or insight. But, what to do when I continue to wrestle with what the readings mean for me? Because struggles themselves can lead to insight, I’ve decided to share mine with you. Perhaps the very sharing of our human struggles may offer insight and hope.

I’ve struggled most with the idea of giving without heeding the cost. I don’t feel this quality was included with my skill set. If I’m being kind to myself I acknowledge that this shortcoming is not unique to me but is a consistent practice for most of us. I’m much more skilled, in fact, in counting the costs, tallying resentments, weighing my efforts against those around me and dispensing effort or engagement accordingly. Unfortunately, and all too often, is this not how we occupy ourselves in our professional, marital and inter family roles? If I’m fully transparent regarding the notion of giving, I may not be seeking glory per se but am I not expecting acknowledgement at some time and in some form for my efforts as husband, father, co-worker, brother and son?

And then there is the question of not counting the cost when it comes to forgiveness. In today’s first reading, Joseph forgives his brothers who sold him into slavery. I can assure you that any forgiveness I generate is not as clean and complete as Joseph’s.

These readings have been particularly prescient for me as our extended family recently gathered for summer vacation. Wonderful memories were made. Additionally, perceived and real slights, resentments, historic patterns of interaction/behavior and plenty of love were all on display. It has prompted me to consider how God’s providence is at work despite our humanness, selfishness and sinfulness.

What sinful or hurtful things have happened recently (are happening) in our lives? Are we weighing and tallying or are we seeking the grace to give and forgive without heeding the cost?

Rafael Rosario

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