St Maelruain, bishop and abbot
Famine is one of the burning issues in the world today. Social media shows organisations such as CONCERN, Trócaire and UNICEF continually showing images of the plight of poverty. They send URGENT APPEALS ‘to save children from hunger and malnutrition.’ Famine continues to threaten the world in these times of climate injustice among other injustices. Pope Francis in his writings continually speaks of famine and its consequences. We pause to remember those who are experiencing hunger at this moment in time.
The reading proclaimed at Mass today (Gen 41: 55-57, 42:5-7, 17-24) begins the long story of Joseph’s meeting with his brothers. At this time, there was a famine in the land of Egypt and the people came to Pharaoh looking for bread. He told the Egyptians to go to Joseph, who opened the storehouses and sold grain to them. As the famine worsened, people also came from other countries to buy grain. Among those who came were Joseph’s brothers who were jealous of him, rejected him, and threw him in a pit. Joseph recognised them but did not acknowledge them. The brothers did not recognise him. Joseph punished them by making them repent for the crime they committed against him. He told them that one of them must sacrifice himself, before his brother Joseph will reveal who he is. Joseph imprisoned them for three days. The brothers felt guilty and regretted their treatment of Joseph. They stood arguing among themselves, not knowing that Joseph understood what they were saying (with the presence of an interpreter). Joseph withdrew for a while and wept. On his return, he took Simeon and had him put in prison.
While Joseph desired to forgive his brothers, forgiveness did not cancel out the necessity of making amends for the violence they had done. Joseph had a plan. It is not part of today’s reading….
Psalm 32 proclaimed at Mass, expresses the desire of the psalmist for God’s love as God’s people place their hope in God. The assembly respond with one voice saying, ‘May your love be upon us. O Lord, as we place all our hope in you.’
The Gospel (Mt 10:1-7) names the twelve apostles. This group of twelve will understand that they are the foundation of the Church. The Word outlines Jesus’ summoning the twelve and giving ‘them authority over unclean spirits with power to cast them out and to cure all kinds of diseases and sicknesses.’ As Jesus teaches them and gives them their mission, he sends them to proclaim the Kingdom of God. This group of twelve are the witnesses of Jesus among people, so he is teaching them what he wants them to do. In turn, these twelve missionaries will call others as Jesus called them. These successors will be missionaries continuing the mission of Jesus. They will strive to do God’s will as they pray, live and serve those who live in poverty with love and tenderness. Jesus promised to remain with them until the end of time. He did this by sending the Holy Spirit. Jesus continues to nourish the lives of the disciples through the sacraments.
Stories about the apostles and their time spent with Jesus are available in the Grow in Love/ I nGrá Dé religious education programme and access to the Children’s Grow in Love/I nGrá Dé textbook and /or e-book is available on the Grow in Love website.
- Act of Hope/ Gníomh Dóchais
- Act of Sorrow/ Gníomh Dóláis
- Prayer for Forgiveness/ Paidir ag iarraidh Maithiúnas
- Prayer after Forgiveness/ Paidir taréis Maithiúnas
- From your Bible read the part of the story of Joseph proclaimed at Mass today ( Gen 41: 55-57; 42:5-7. 17-24)
- Search the Gospels and find the miracles where Jesus fed the people who were hungry.
- You might like to watch the musical ‘Joseph and the Amazing Technicolour Dreamcoat’
- Write down the names of the twelve apostles. What is Jesus asking his disciples to do today in July 2021?
- Find out the places in the world that are most threatened by famine. How might your family help?
- Browse the Trócaire website and find out how Trócaire is helping to alleviate famine in Africa.
Sr Anne Neylon