TRASH-TALK

Memorial of Saint Bonaventure, Bishop and Doctor of the ChurchLectionary: 388


Reading 1 GN 49:29-32; 50:15-26A
Jacob gave his sons this charge:

“Since I am about to be taken to my people,

bury me with my fathers in the cave that lies

in the field of Ephron the Hittite,

the cave in the field of Machpelah,

facing on Mamre, in the land of Canaan,

the field that Abraham bought from Ephron the Hittite

for a burial ground.

There Abraham and his wife Sarah are buried,

and so are Isaac and his wife Rebekah,

and there, too, I buried Leah–

the field and the cave in it

that had been purchased from the Hittites.”
Now that their father was dead,

Joseph’s brothers became fearful and thought,

“Suppose Joseph has been nursing a grudge against us

and now plans to pay us back in full for all the wrong we did him!”

So they approached Joseph and said:

“Before your father died, he gave us these instructions:

‘You shall say to Joseph, Jacob begs you

to forgive the criminal wrongdoing of your brothers,

who treated you so cruelly.’

Please, therefore, forgive the crime that we,

the servants of your father’s God, committed.”

When they spoke these words to him, Joseph broke into tears.

Then his brothers proceeded to fling themselves down before him

and said, “Let us be your slaves!”

But Joseph replied to them:

“Have no fear. Can I take the place of God?

Even though you meant harm to me, God meant it for good,

to achieve his present end, the survival of many people.

Therefore have no fear.

I will provide for you and for your children.”

By thus speaking kindly to them, he reassured them.
Joseph remained in Egypt, together with his father’s family.

He lived a hundred and ten years.

He saw Ephraim’s children to the third generation,

and the children of Manasseh’s son Machir

were also born on Joseph’s knees.
Joseph said to his brothers: “I am about to die.

God will surely take care of you and lead you out of this land to the land

that he promised on oath to Abraham, Isaac and Jacob.”

Then, putting the sons of Israel under oath, he continued,

“When God thus takes care of you,

you must bring my bones up with you from this place.”

Joseph died at the age of a hundred and ten.

Responsorial Psalm PS 105:1-2, 3-4, 6-7
R. (see Psalm 69:33) Be glad you lowly ones; may your hearts be glad!

Give thanks to the LORD, invoke his name;

make known among the nations his deeds.

Sing to him, sing his praise,

proclaim all his wondrous deeds.

R. Be glad you lowly ones; may your hearts be glad!

Glory in his holy name;

rejoice, O hearts that seek the LORD!

Look to the LORD in his strength;

seek to serve him constantly.

R. Be glad you lowly ones; may your hearts be glad!

You descendants of Abraham, his servants,

sons of Jacob, his chosen ones!

He, the LORD, is our God;

throughout the earth his judgments prevail.

R. Be glad you lowly ones; may your hearts be glad!

Alleluia 1 PT 4:14
R. Alleluia, alleluia.

If you are insulted for the name of Christ, blessed are you,

for the Spirit of God rests upon you.

R. Alleluia, alleluia.

Gospel MT 10:24-33
Jesus said to his Apostles: 

“No disciple is above his teacher,

no slave above his master.

It is enough for the disciple that he become like his teacher,

for the slave that he become like his master.

If they have called the master of the house Beelzebul,

how much more those of his household!

“Therefore do not be afraid of them.

Nothing is concealed that will not be revealed,

nor secret that will not be known.

What I say to you in the darkness, speak in the light;

what you hear whispered, proclaim on the housetops.

And do not be afraid of those who kill the body but cannot kill the soul;

rather, be afraid of the one who can destroy

both soul and body in Gehenna.

Are not two sparrows sold for a small coin?

Yet not one of them falls to the ground without your Father’s knowledge.

Even all the hairs of your head are counted.

So do not be afraid; you are worth more than many sparrows.

Everyone who acknowledges me before others

I will acknowledge before my heavenly Father.

But whoever denies me before others,

I will deny before my heavenly Father.”
REFLECTION: TRASH-TALK

“Every hair of your head has been counted.” –Matthew 10:30
Today is haircut day. The apron I wear as I sit in the barber chair is covered with little shavings of white hair. When the haircut is over, the barber removes the apron and shakes it out, spreading those hairs all over the floor. Then he sweeps the floor and throws my shorn hair into the trash. God has counted all the hairs of my head (Mt 10:30), even those that are of no account and were cast into the trash.
Jesus had His disciples pick up the leftover loaves and fishes and collect them in twelve wicker baskets (Mk 6:43). Nothing was insignificant to Jesus.
As Pope Francis often says, we live in a throwaway culture. Secular society treats so much as disposable and not worthy of regard: aborted babies (except for their body parts), the aged who are past the age of productivity, the unprofitable, etc. Yet Jesus taught that “all are alive for Him” (Lk 20:38).
Jesus recycles people who have been discarded (see 2 Cor 5:17). He fertilizes the unfruitful over and over and pours out His grace continually upon them, even though others regard them as mere clutter (see Lk 13:7-9). Our trash is Jesus’ treasure. Jesus takes the most unloved, heals and forgives them, restores their souls (Ps 23:3), and creates a masterpiece out of their lives.
Even if you have thrown away your life, give yourself now to Jesus. Nothing is impossible (see Lk 1:37) for the God Who treasures every hair of your head and refuses to discard you.
PRAYER: Jesus, I empty the trash can of my life and place it at the foot of Your cross. Take my life and recreate it in Your image.

PROMISE: “Whoever acknowledges Me before men I will acknowledge before My Father in heaven.” –Mt 10:32

PRAISE: St. Bonaventure built his life on Jesus through his simplicity, poverty, and hard work.

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