- The Abbey of the Genesee - https://www.geneseeabbey.org -

July 13, 2019

Fr. John Denburger, OCSO [1]

14th Saturday in Ordinary time
Genesis 49: 29 – 32 & 50: 15 – 26a; Ps 105; Matthew 10: 24 – 33

Joseph, a man of great power, allays the fears of his brothers – “Even though you meant harm to me, God meant it for good to achieve His present end, the survival of many people.” Truly inspired by God, Joseph is given a gift of wisdom, of insight – he is able to see beyond the reality of hatred and betrayal by his own brothers. “God meant it for good” – five words – yet, huge, profound in truth.

St. Paul, described himself as “A Hebrew of Hebrews” – he knew well his tradition, the stories of the patriarchs, all the events of Joseph’s life, his rise to power in Egypt, his mercy, compassion extended to his brothers. Paul, with this knowledge and embraced by the wisdom of the Spirit of Jesus proclaims, “God makes all things work together for good.” Again, a few words – words proclaiming belief in the providence of our God who is almighty.

“God make all things work together for good” – I believe we need to underline heavily “all things” – no matter how bad, poor, how horrific – no matter what it is, God, without condoning evil if any kind, can turn it around, can bring good out of it. The Lord, our Redeemer, can and does redeem life for us.

Because of this we are people of hope, men and women of the Resurrection. In our present condition, at times, we struggle with life, with its events, sometimes overwhelming but with a confidence based on truth that “all will be well” – in time. With the confidence that our God’s providence is always at work; it is a paradox of our life of faith that even in the midst of pain, struggle we suffer depression, sadness but not despair.

In the Gospel Jesus speaks to His disciples about the reality of life and three times says, “Do not be afraid!” Life challenges but there is no reason to be paralyzed by fear. The feeling of such fear may come like a thief in the night and the Lord is saying in a way – acknowledge it but do not embrace it. St. Paul, who knew suffering and recounts it in his letters, proclaims for all time “God makes all thing work together for good.”

Do you/I believe this – count on this – find strength in this? Perhaps, we can honestly say, “Lord, I am coming to believe this! Help my unbelief.”