July 12, 2019 Friday
14th Week in Ordinary Time
1st Reading: Gen 46:1–7, 28–30
Gospel: Mt 10:16–23
Jesus said to his disciples, “Look, I send you out like sheep among wolves. You must be clever as snakes and innocent as doves. Be on your guard with respect to people, for they will hand you over to their courts and they will flog you in their synagogues. You will be brought to trial before rulers and kings because of me, and so you may witness to them and the pagans. “But when you are arrested, do not worry about what you are to say and how you are to say it; when the hour comes, you will be given what you are to say. For it is not you who will speak; but it will be the Spirit of your Father in you.“Brother will hand over brother to death, and a father his child; children will turn against parents and have them put to death. Everyone will hate you because of me, but whoever stands firm to the end will be saved. “When they persecute you in one town, flee to the next. For sure, you will not have gone through all the towns of Israel before the Son of Man comes.”
(Daily Gospel in the Assimilated Life Experience)
Jesus told his disciples to be “clever as snakes and innocent as doves” (Mt. 10:16). The Parable of the Shrewd Manager (Luke Chapter 16) gives us a fair idea what being clever as snake means. The shrewd manager tampered receipts in favor of his master’s debtors so that upon his dismissal from his job these debtors would welcome him into their homes. A shrewd strategy indeed! But the shrewdness Jesus wanted his disciples to exercise was only for the furtherance of the kingdom and not for promoting evil. To be as clever as snake means to be resourceful in the apostolate even to the point of being shrewd. Obviously Jesus did not want naïve and gullible evangelizers. He wanted them to be “wise as to what is good and innocent as to what is evil” (Rom. 16:19). What St. Paul wrote to the Corinthians is also instructive: “In regard to evil, be infants, but in your thinking, be adults” (1 Cor14:20).
Jesus warned the Apostles about the inevitability of persecutions. We need no such warning because we know how Jesus was maltreated. The religious leaders who were supposed to be more discerning in spiritual matters treated Jesus badly. They even branded him as prince of devils. If Jesus, our Master was mishandled, we should be ready for anything as evangelizers. There will be persecutions, but let us not lose heart because Jesus gave this assurance: “When the hour comes, you will be given what you are to say. For it is not you who will speak; but it will be the Spirit of your Father in you”. –(Atty.) Rev. Fr. Dan Domingo P. delos Angeles, Jr., D.M.
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