Lent Week 2
Genesis 37:3-4, 12-13a, 17b-28
Psalms 105:15-17, 18-19, 20-21 Matthew 21:33-43, 45-46
Dear Christians, the first reading and the Gospel are both providing us with real life paradoxical episodes. Joseph incurred the wrath of his brothers by telling them his dreams and because his father manifested great love for him than others. They retaliated this by selling him into slavery. This story is told in full detail in the final chapters of the Book of Genesis (Gen 37-50). Its main theme is made clear when Joseph calmly tells his brothers: “While you meant harm to me, God meant it for good, to achieve his purpose, the survival of many” (50:19-20). In the Gospel we see similar episode explained in the parable that becomes the pointer to Jesus’ saving plan. Jesus incurred the wrath of the fellow Jews because he was the son of God and told them so. They retaliated by crucifying him.
These narratives tells us some important truths about God and the way he deals with His people. God used Joseph to save his people from famine. The same God used the death of Jesus for the salvation of all.
What message can we deduce from these narratives?
First, God’s ways, in one sense, can never become ours. But we can become more godlike in our actions, in recognizing generosity and in dispensing mercy to others. While we can never equal God’s ways, we can try to imitate the divine patterns.
Secondly if we can believe in a providence that directs everything towards some final good, we will have serenity even in the face of problems and disappointments. If this belief of the Joseph becomes our own, it will have a marvelous effect, a truly rich harvest of grace.
Thirdly, what may initially be unacceptable to us can become a therapy by which God heals us. Parts of life that we tend to reject may be the very channels through which Christ teaches and draws us to himself.
Finally, our faith tells us that God always has a purpose for whatever happens. Although we may neglect God, God never neglects us.