John 16: 5-14…that time: Jesus said unto his disciples: I go my way to him
that sent me; and none of you asketh me, Whither goest thou? But because I have said these things unto you, sorrow hath filled your heart. Nevertheless I tell you the truth; It is expedient for you that I go away: for if I go not away, the Comforter will not come unto you; but if I depart, I will send him unto you. And when he is come, he will reprove the world of sin, and of righteousness, and of judgment: of sin, because they believe not on me; of righteousness, because I go to my Father, and ye see me no more; of judgment, because the prince of this world is judged. I have yet many things to say unto you, but ye cannot bear them now. Howbeit when he, the Spirit of truth, is come, he will guide you into all truth: for he shall not speak of himself; but whatsoever he shall hear, that shall he speak: and he will show you things to come. He shall glorify me: for he shall receive of mine, and shall show it unto you. All things that the Father hath are mine: therefore said I, that he shall take of mine, and shall show it unto you.

Saint Focus.. St. Augustine of Canterbury is called the ‘evangelizer’ of England but that isn’t necessarily true. Christianity had been in England for about two centuries by the time of his arrival in 597 but unfortunately the native Christians for the most part made little effort to evangelize the pagan ‘invaders’, including the Angle and Saxons, so there was a need for St. Augustine’s mission. We should also look for the ‘forgotten’ souls who are often overlooked in the normal outreach of the Church.

Prayer: The Angel of the Lord declared unto Mary. And she conceived of the Holy Ghost.

Hail Mary, full of Grace, the Lord is with thee. Blessed art thou amongst women, and blessed is the fruit of thy womb, Jesus. Holy Mary, mother of God, pray for us sinners now and in the hour of our death.

**Practical Commentary this week
[Gen. 43]

BUT after some months the corn which the sons of Jacob had brought from Egypt was consumed, and the famine still continued. Therefore Jacob said to his sons: “Go again into Egypt and bring us a little food.” Juda told his father that the governor had forbidden them to come back to Egypt, unless they brought Benjamin with them. And Juda added: “Send the boy with me that we may set forward, lest both we and our children perish. I take the boy upon me; require him at my hand.”

So Jacob consented to let Benjamin go. And he told his sons to take some of the best fruits of the country as presents to the governor of Egypt, and also to return the money, which they had found in their sacks, lest perhaps it was done by mistake. Then he prayed that God might prosper their journey, and make the governor of Egypt favourable to them, and send them back with Simeon and Benjamin.

Then they went down to Egypt, and stood before Joseph. When Joseph saw them, and Benjamin in their midst, he commanded his steward to conduct them to his house, and prepare a banquet. The steward obeyed. But the brothers, on finding themselves in the governor’s house, were seized with fear, and said one to another: “Because of the money, which we carried back the first time in our sacks, we are brought in that he may bring upon us a false accusation, and by violence make slaves of us.”

Therefore, they went to the steward at the door, and said: “We cannot tell who put that money in our bags.” But he said to them: “Peace be to you; fear not.” And he brought Simeon out to them. Joseph having now entered the house, they bowed down before him and offered their gifts. He kindly saluted them in return, and asked if their aged father was still living.

They told him that their father lived, and was in good health. Then Joseph, seeing Benjamin, inquired if that was their youngest brother. They answered: “He is our youngest brother.” Then Joseph said: “God be gracious to thee, my son”; and, going out, he wept, for his heart was deeply touched at the sight of his younger brother. Having dried his tears and washed his face, he returned to his brethren and ordered food to be placed before them. Then they were ordered to sit before him, and he placed them according to their age, the first-born first, and the youngest last. All received gifts, but Benjamin received five times more than the rest. And they wondered much.

Commentary: Jacob bade his sons take back with them the money which they had found in their sacks; the reason which he gave being that it might have been put there by mistake. Jacob was, we can see by this, upright and conscientious, and wished to restore what he had found to its owner. “If”, said he to himself, “this Egyptian governor refuses to take money for the corn, and has had the money returned in the sacks on purpose, then we can keep it with a clear conscience; but if it has been given back by mistake, I will, anyhow, return it, and then my conscience cannot reproach me.”

Prayer: Behold the handmaid of the Lord. Be it done unto me according to thy word.

Hail Mary, full of Grace, the Lord is with thee. Blessed art thou amongst women, and blessed is the fruit of thy womb, Jesus. Holy Mary, mother of God, pray for us sinners now and in the hour of our death.


[Gen. 44]

THEN Joseph commanded the steward to fill their sacks with corn, and to put each one’s money in the top of his sack; but to place in the mouth of Benjamin’s sack Joseph’s own silver cup. This was done, and the brothers set out on their journey.

But they had scarcely gone forward a little way, when Joseph sent his steward after them, who, overtaking them, accused them of stealing his master’s cup. He said: “Why have ye returned evil for good?” Struck with terror, and angry at being suspected of theft, the brothers replied: “With whomsoever the cup shall be found, let him die, and we will be the bondsmen of my lord.” The steward replied: “Be it according to your words.”

They immediately took down their sacks and opened them, and when the steward had searched them all, beginning with that of the eldest, he found the cup in Benjamin’s sack. The brothers, rending their garments, loaded their asses again and returned to the city.

And falling down before Joseph, they said: “Behold, we are all bondsmen to my lord.” But Joseph answered: “God forbid! He that stole the cup, he shall be my bondsman, and go you away free to your father.”

Then Juda told Joseph how much it had cost their father to part with Benjamin. They would rather die, all of them, he said, than return to their aged father without his youngest son. Juda, moreover, offered to remain, and be the governor’s slave till death, if he would allow Benjamin to go back safe to his father.

Application: Sin is an ingratitude to God. Almighty God might well say to us, what the steward said to Joseph’s brethren: “Why have you returned evil for good? I have done good to you; I have given you life and health and grace, and you have repaid my bounties with ingratitude. You have done a very evil thing each time you have sinned.” Mortal sin, especially, is a base act of ingratitude towards God, our Father.


And the Word was made Flesh.  And dwelt among us.

Hail Mary, full of Grace, the Lord is with thee. Blessed art thou amongst women, and blessed is the fruit of thy womb, Jesus. Holy Mary, mother of God, pray for us sinners now and in the hour of our death.


[Gen. 45]

JOSEPH could no longer restrain himself, and, therefore, he commanded his officers and servants to retire. Then, with tears and sobs, he said: “I am Joseph. Is my father yet living?” His brothers could not answer him, being struck with exceeding great fear. But Joseph said mildly to them: “Come nearer to me. I am Joseph, your brother, whom you sold into Egypt. Fear nothing, for God sent me before you into Egypt for your preservation.”

Then he said: “Make haste, and go ye up to my father, and say to him: ‘Thus saith thy son Joseph: Come down to me; linger not; and thou shalt dwell in the land of Gessen; and thou shalt be near me, thou and thy sons.’ ” Then, falling upon the neck of Benjamin, he wept, and Benjamin wept also in like manner. Then he embraced all his brethren, and wept over them, after which they were emboldened to speak to him.

The news went abroad in the king’s court: The brethren of Joseph are come. And Pharao, with all his family, was glad. He told Joseph to invite his father and his brethren to come to Egypt. Joseph gave his brothers chariots and provisions for the way. He ordered two robes to be given to each of them, but to Benjamin he gave five robes of the best, with three hundred pieces of silver. Besides, he gave them rich presents for their father, and warned them not to be angry on the way.

Application: Joseph’s example teaches us that we should from our hearts forgive those who have injured us, and return good for the evil they have done to us. The love of our enemies is, therefore, a beautiful and great virtue, which we Christians are bound to practise.

Prayer:  Lord Jesus Christ by Mercy on Me.


[Gen. 45:25–46:34]

WHEN Joseph’s brethren returned to their father, they told him: “Joseph, thy son, is living, and he is ruler in all the land of Egypt.” But Jacob did not believe them, till they showed him the chariots and all the presents that Joseph had sent. Then he awoke, as it were, from a deep sleep; his spirit revived, and he said: “It is enough for me, if Joseph, my son, be yet living. I will go and see him, before I die.”

And he set out for Egypt, with his whole family and all his possessions. When he had reached the confines of Chanaan, he offered a sacrifice to God, who spoke to him in a vision of the night, saying: “Fear not, go down into Egypt, for I will make a great nation of thee there, and will bring thee back again from thence.” Consoled by the vision, Jacob continued his journey, and arrived in Egypt.

Juda went on in advance to apprise Joseph of his father’s approach. Joseph immediately made ready his chariot, and went out to meet his father. As soon as he saw him coming, he descended from his chariot and embraced him, weeping.

And Jacob said to Joseph: “Now I shall die with joy, because I have seen thy face, and leave thee alive.” Joseph presented his father to Pharao, who asked him: “How many are the years of thy life?” Jacob answered: “The days of my pilgrimage are a hundred and thirty years, few and evil, and they are not come up to the days of the pilgrimage of my fathers.” Then Jacob, having blessed the king, retired. And Joseph gave his father and his brothers possessions in the land of Gessen, the most beautiful and fertile part of Egypt.

Application: Life is a pilgrimage. God’s servants know that they are stranger, and pilgrims on earth. “The years of my pilgrimage have been few and evil”, said old Jacob… Comparing his life in this world with that which is eternal, he said that his long years of pilgrimage had been few. “For we have not here a lasting city” (Hebr. 13:14); we are but pilgrims on the road to eternity. Heaven is our home. We should not, therefore, cling to the things of this earth, but should, above all things, seek the kingdom of God.

Prayer:  Pray for us, O Holy Mother of God. That we may be made worthy of the promises of Christ.



[Gen. 47–50]

JACOB lived seventeen years in Gessen. When the day of his end approached, Joseph, with his two sons, Ephraim and Manasses, went to visit him. Jacob kissed the boys, blessed them, and prayed that the angel, who had delivered him from evil during life, might protect the sons of Joseph. To Joseph he said: “Behold, I die, and God will be with you, and bring you back into the land of your fathers.”

Then, his children and grandchildren having assembled round his couch, he blessed them all. To Juda he gave a special blessing. “Juda”, said he, “thy hand shall be on the neck of thy enemies. The sons of thy father shall bow down to thee, and the scepter shall not be taken away from Juda, till He come that is to be sent, and He shall be the expectation of nations.”

Then, having told them to bury him with his fathers in the land of Chanaan, he died.

When Joseph saw this, he fell upon his father’s face, weeping and kissing him. He then ordered the body to be embalmed And Pharao commanded that all Egypt should mourn Jacob for seventy days. When the time of mourning was passed, Joseph, accompanied by all the elders of the house of Pharao, set out for the land of Chanaan, and buried the remains of his father at Hebron. Now, Jacob being dead, the brothers feared that Joseph would remember the wrong they had done him, and therefore they came to him and begged forgiveness. Joseph received them kindly, saying: “You thought evil against me, but God turned it into good.”

Application:  If you wish to die a happy death, you must fear God from your youth upward, and pray diligently for the grace of final perseverance, because this most important of all graces can only be obtained by prayer. Only the foolish and cowardly hope for a sudden death. The Church teaches us to pray: “From sudden and unprovided death, Lord, deliver us.” It is a great blessing not to die suddenly, but to watch death approaching as Jacob did, and be able to prepare ourselves for it. “Holy Mary, Mother of God, pray for us sinners now, and at the hour of our death.”

Prayer:   Pour forth, we beseech Thee, O Lord, Thy grace into our hearts; that, we to whom the Incarnation of Christ, Thy Son, was made known by the message of an Angel, may by His Passion and Cross, be brought to the glory of His Resurrection. Through the same Christ our Lord.


[Book of Job 1–4]

IN the time of the patriarchs, there lived in Arabia a man, whom God wished to give as a perfect model of patience to all mankind, and for all time. This man’s name was Job. He had seven sons and three daughters. He owned seven thousand sheep, three thousand camels, five hundred yoke of oxen, five hundred she-asses, and had a great number of servants.

On this account, and still more because of his singular piety, he was held in high esteem among the people of the East. One day when the sons of God came to stand before the Lord, Satan also was present among them, and the Lord said to him: “Hast thou considered my servant Job, that there is none like him in the earth?” Satan, answering, said: “Doth Job fear God in vain? Thou hast blessed the work of his hands, and his possession hath increased on the earth. But stretch forth Thy hand, and take away his possessions, then Thou shalt see that he will bless Thee to Thy face.”

Then the Lord said to Satan: “All that he hath is in thy hand; only put not forth thy hand upon his person.” So it came to pass upon one occasion, when the sons and daughters of Job were feasting in the house of their eldest brother, a messenger came to Job, exclaiming: “The oxen were ploughing, and the asses feeding beside them, and the Sabeans rushed in and took all away, and slew the servants with the sword, and I alone have escaped to tell thee.”

While he was yet speaking, another messenger came to tell Job that fire fell from heaven which struck the sheep and the shepherds, and that he alone had escaped. Whilst he was yet speaking, there came a third messenger, who announced to Job that the Chaldeans had taken away his camels and slain all the servants but himself.

Then came a fourth messenger who, entering in, said to Job: “Whilst thy sons and daughters were eating and drinking in the house of their elder brother, a violent wind came on a sudden from the side of the desert, and shook the four corners of the house, and it fell, and crushed thy children, and they are dead, and I alone have escaped to tell thee.”

Then Job rose up and rent his garments, and, having shaved his head, fell down upon the ground and worshipped, saying: “The Lord gave, and the Lord hath taken away. As it has pleased the Lord, so is it done. Blessed be the name of the Lord.” In all these things Job sinned not by his lips, nor spoke he any foolish thing against God.

And the Lord said to Satan: “Hast thou considered my servant Job that there is none like him in the earth?” Satan replied: “Skin for skin and all that a man hath will he give for his life; but put forth Thy hand, touch his bone and his flesh, and then Thou shalt see, if he will not curse Thee.”

The Lord said: “Behold, he is in thy hand, but yet save his life.” So Satan struck Job with a most grievous ulcer from the sole of the foot even to the top of his head. And Job sat on a dung-hill and scraped the ulcerated matter with a potsherd. Then his wife came, not to comfort, but rather to tempt him, for she mockingly said: “Bless God and die!”

But Job said to her: “Thou hast spoken like one of the foolish women. If we have received good things at the hand of God, why should we not receive evil?” Again, in all these things Job did not sin with his lips or his heart.

Prayer:  Blessed by the name of the Lord from henceforth and forevermore.

…to be continued on Monday…