Eleven of the twelve children of Jacob were caught up in a famine. They could get no food where they lived, so they went to Egypt, where Joseph, their erstwhile brother, gave them their rations of grain (Gn 42:6), and more besides (Mt 6:33).
In today's Gospel, Jesus chose twelve new men, His apostles (Mt 10:2). He commissioned them, and us, to be new Josephs, to be absorbed in distributing the word of the Lord in times of famine and in times of plenty. The children of the new covenant are to be distributors of food like Joseph, who fed the whole world.
From this point on in Matthew's Gospel, Jesus will be teaching and feeding His apostles. After building them up, He will send them out to feed His people with His word (Jn 21:15-17). The apostles then feed others, who in turn grow strong enough to feed still others. God intends that this feeder system perpetuate itself so His word continues to spread (see Acts 6:7).
We are to be the Master's good stewards, occupied with distributing physical and spiritual food (Mt 24:45). Like the apostles, we have been fed by the Master on a steady diet of word and Eucharist. Thus built up, we are able to feed His sheep (Jn 21:16) and keep them alive and thriving in times of famine (Ps 33:19).
Amos prophesied that there would be a famine not for food, but for hearing the word of the Lord (Am 8:11). Therefore, distribute God's word, teaching in-season and out-of-season (2 Tm 4:2).
|Rescript: In accord with the Code of Canon Law, I hereby grant the Nihil Obstat ("Permission to Publish") for One Bread, One Body covering the period from June 1, 2009 through July 31, 2009.
†Reverend Joseph R. Binzer, Vicar General of the Archdiocese of Cincinnati, January 5, 2009.