Finding Beauty in Repetition

July 8, 2021   Thursday of the Fourteenth Week in Ordinary Time (Lectionary: 386)

Reading I   Gn 44:18-21, 23b-29; 45:1-5
Judah approached Joseph and said: “I beg you, my lord,
let your servant speak earnestly to my lord,
and do not become angry with your servant,
for you are the equal of Pharaoh.
My lord asked your servants, ‘Have you a father, or another brother?’
So we said to my lord, ‘We have an aged father,
and a young brother, the child of his old age.
This one’s full brother is dead,
and since he is the only one by that mother who is left,
his father dotes on him.’
Then you told your servants,
‘Bring him down to me that my eyes may look on him.
Unless your youngest brother comes back with you,
you shall not come into my presence again.’
When we returned to your servant our father,
we reported to him the words of my lord.

“Later, our father told us to come back and buy some food for the family.
So we reminded him, ‘We cannot go down there;
only if our youngest brother is with us can we go,
for we may not see the man if our youngest brother is not with us.’
Then your servant our father said to us,
‘As you know, my wife bore me two sons.
One of them, however, disappeared, and I had to conclude
that he must have been torn to pieces by wild beasts;
I have not seen him since.
If you now take this one away from me, too,
and some disaster befalls him,
you will send my white head down to the nether world in grief.’“

Joseph could no longer control himself
in the presence of all his attendants,
so he cried out, “Have everyone withdraw from me!”
Thus no one else was about when he made himself known to his brothers.
But his sobs were so loud that the Egyptians heard him,
and so the news reached Pharaoh’s palace.
“I am Joseph,” he said to his brothers.
“Is my father still in good health?”
But his brothers could give him no answer,
so dumbfounded were they at him.

“Come closer to me,” he told his brothers.
When they had done so, he said:
“I am your brother Joseph, whom you once sold into Egypt.
But now do not be distressed,
and do not reproach yourselves for having sold me here.
It was really for the sake of saving lives
that God sent me here ahead of you.”

Responsorial Psalm   105:16-17, 18-19, 20-21
R. (5a) Remember the marvels the Lord has done.
R. Alleluia.
When the LORD called down a famine on the land
and ruined the crop that sustained them,
He sent a man before them,
Joseph, sold as a slave.
R. Remember the marvels the Lord has done.
R. Alleluia.
They had weighed him down with fetters,
and he was bound with chains,
Till his prediction came to pass
and the word of the LORD proved him true.
R. Remember the marvels the Lord has done.
R. Alleluia.
The king sent and released him,
the ruler of the peoples set him free.
He made him lord of his house
and ruler of all his possessions.
R. Remember the marvels the Lord has done.
R. Alleluia.

Alleluia   Mk 1:15
R. Alleluia, alleluia.
The Kingdom of God is at hand:
repent and believe in the Gospel.
R. Alleluia, alleluia.

Gospel   Mt 10:7-15
Jesus said to his Apostles:
“As you go, make this proclamation:
‘The Kingdom of heaven is at hand.’
Cure the sick, raise the dead,
cleanse the lepers, drive out demons.
Without cost you have received; without cost you are to give.
Do not take gold or silver or copper for your belts;
no sack for the journey, or a second tunic,
or sandals, or walking stick.
The laborer deserves his keep.
Whatever town or village you enter, look for a worthy person in it,
and stay there until you leave.
As you enter a house, wish it peace.
If the house is worthy,
let your peace come upon it;
if not, let your peace return to you.
Whoever will not receive you or listen to your words—
go outside that house or town and shake the dust from your feet.
Amen, I say to you, it will be more tolerable
for the land of Sodom and Gomorrah on the day of judgment
than for that town.”

By Sadie Curtin 

“Remember the marvels the Lord has done.” The psalmist provides a great mantra for me this week. “Remember the marvels the Lord has done.”

One of my favorite aspects of each of the major world religions is the reliance on powerful mantras and repetitive phrases to connect to the Divine and to grow in spirituality. For me, repetitive mantras in my own Catholic faith help me focus, to zoom in on one thing to pray through.

For me, a simple phrase repeated over and over again helps my typically scattered, jumbled, creative mind from wandering so I can really go deeper.

The psalms are a great tool for me to find spiritual growth by focusing on something small, poignant, and meaningful. The psalm for today is no different - remember the marvels the Lord has done. As I go through my week, I am challenging myself to use the mantra when I have my daily walks with my puppy or out for a run or driving in the car. The beauty of repetition is that it becomes a part of me and enters into my conscience and begins to live there.

Memory is a powerful way for me to recognize and honor the marvels of God in my life. Recently, I've been having conversations with a new friend. We have spent time telling stories and sharing memories with one another to get to know each other better. Through the sharing of meaningful, funny, and significant memories there is a window into the marvels of God found in another human being.

I constantly find God in other people.

In the laughter, the quirks, the intelligence, the kindness, and countless other ways I am getting to know God more fully. The marvel of God found in each person is a beautiful theological concept, but it is also a reality to cherish and never forget. For it is truly marvelous to see and remember that each person we encounter is a marvel -- a beautiful creation, a gift.

When I am challenged to remember the marvels the Lord has done, it helps me to acknowledge the pure gift that is within each person in my life and motivates me to treat people with that in mind. From a new friend to my grandma to my students to a complete stranger at the grocery store - there are marvels of God's creation constantly in front of me. This psalmist's challenge to remember this reality is just what I needed to hear.

The marvel of finding God day in and day out is something I never want to forget.

For deep within my conscience now lives this beautiful mantra and I pray that it continues to inspire me. What marvels of the Lord are you finding in your life recently?


Sadie Curtin is a high school theology teacher who finds herself most invigorated by LGBTQIA+ equity, racism, and the profound beauty of world religions. She finds joy in taking long walks with friends, reading a thought-provoking memoir, and trying to find the best pizza in Cleveland. She loves to dive deep into issues of social justice and would love to engage in conversation with you! Find more about her here

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