Friday of the Fourteenth Week in Ordinary Time
(Genesis 46:1-7.28-20; Matthew 10:16-23)
A Mexican child will answer the call of a parent by saying, “Mande,” meaning, “Send (me).” The implication is that the child will do whatever he is commanded. We find this willingness to comply in the first reading when Israel responds to the call of the Lord, “Here I am.” In other often quoted biblical texts, Samuel goes to Eli saying, “Here I am. I come to do your will” and of the Virgin Mary answers the angel, “Behold the handmaid of the Lord; be it done unto me according to your word.” It should be noted that Israel did not always acquiesce to God’s will. As a young man, he cheated his brother in order to obtain his father’s blessing. Through a slow but sure process, however, God has taught Israel how to trust in Him.
Willingness to conform to God’s will is one requirement of fathering a great nation. Another, more obvious need is to assure the welfare of one’s family. Israel proves that he has looked after this concern when he travels to Egypt to be reunited with his son Joseph. He has been faithful to the tradition of his father Isaac and his grandfather Abraham although he followed it in a highly individual way.
Jesus also manifests these two traits of nation-building. He implicitly follows his Father’s will to the end, and he sends his Spirit, as today’s gospel indicates, to protect his apostles. With such care the Church has become like a great nation that gives God glory throughout the earth.