Wednesday of the Fourteenth Week in Ordinary Time
Book of Genesis 41:55-57; 42-5-7a, 17-24a, Psalm 33:2-3, 10-11, 18-19,
& Matthew 10:1-7
'Joseph Reveals Himself to His Brothers' by Joseph Cornelius, circa 1817.
Who of us has not been hurt by a member of our immediate family?
The deepest hurts in our lives come from those closest to us, often from parents, siblings, and in-laws. Let us consider the story of Joseph and his brothers. Imagine his hurt. The Book of Genesis tells us that Jacob loved Joseph the best of all his twelve sons because he was the child of his old age. The brothers were so jealous of Joseph they hardly spoke to him. When the opportunity presented itself, his brothers sold Joseph into slavery. To disguise their act, they slaughtered a goat and soiled Joseph’s multi-colored tunic with its blood so Jacob would conclude that beasts had devoured Joseph.
Today, we discover how the tables turn, and the brothers stand before Joseph, though they do not recognize him. His brothers came to Egypt concerning grain for their people. The Pharaoh had appointed Joseph as governor over Egypt in gratitude for correctly interpreting his dreams. Joseph had significant power to distribute the grain, which had been stored during the previous seven years of plenty, in order to feed the people during the long-drawn famine. Joseph, however, recognizes his brothers, now kneeling before him.
What will Joseph do? Turning away from them, he wept and poured out the generosity of Egypt on them; there was no hatred or vengeance, only forgiveness.
Families are forever!
We cannot disown or alienate ourselves from our parents, siblings, and those to whom they are wed. No matter how deeply we’ve been hurt or betrayed, we must remain open to the grace of being reconciled in our hearts, even if we continue to be rejected by them. It is a distressing fact of human life that frequently, the “enemies” Jesus asks us to forgive are those who are closest to us.
Question of the Day: Do you have the heart of Joseph who forgave his brothers for their sins against him?
Prayer: Lord God, grant that I can forgive those who have offended me.