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Gen 41: 55‐57; 42: 5‐7a, 17‐24a;

Ps 33: 2‐3, 18‐19;

Matt 10: 1‐7


A computer is a powerful tool. Even though we are drawing closer to “artificial intelligence” in computers, they are still only a tool at our disposal. They can do great things for us. But they are not as important as us, the users, who control them and make them do what we want them to do. God can never be outsmarted or outguessed in the way of saving people.

Our First Reading is the encounter between Joseph and his brothers who had sold him into slavery. Obviously, they do not recognize him because now he is not a slave, but second only to Pharaoh. They also do not realize that Joseph understands their conversations because Joseph speaks through an interpreter. Joseph is moved with love and forgiveness for his brothers, but he also wants to be able to see his younger brother, Benjamin. Today’s passage starts half way through, and omits quite a bit of, the story of Joseph. The key point, which is picked up by the Responsorial, is that GOD can use the negative plans of individual (and nations) and turn them around to further the divine plan. When Joseph was sold in slavery by his brothers, they thought they would never see him alive again and that they were thus free of the dreamer who had a vision of his brothers and other family members falling down in homage to him. God turned around the plight of Joseph and therefore raised up Joseph so that he would be a source of blessing for the children of Jacob‐Israel.

In the Gospel, Jesus calls forth and commission His twelve apostles. He then completes the process and makes good on their new function of apostles by “sending” (apostlein) them out to announce the Good News to the house of Israel.

As I read the readings today, I am touched by the simplicity, and yet awesomeness, of the plan of God. God is able to not only create something out of nothing, but to make what seems to make no sense into Divine Wisdom. What seems like a complete tragedy when Joseph is sold into slavery by his brothers turns into a way that God takes care of the Chosen People. No one would have dreamed that a slave would become second in command of Egypt and be responsible for the feeding of not only the Egyptians, but also the children of Israel, when a famine strikes the Middle East. No one would have dreamed that except God and the dreamer to whom God gave the vision.

Similarly, who would have thought that twelve men from diverse, mostly uneducated backgrounds, would become the building blocks of God’s church. Who would have picked four fishers, a tax‐collector, and other individuals from the hill(billy) section of Galilee to lead a world‐wide spreading of God’s Good News? No one would have picked such a band of misfits, no one except the Son of God in the flesh.

That gives us a sense of purpose. If God can transform a slave into a leader who saves at least two important nations, then God can transform us into a useful tool in announcing the Gospel to one or more individuals. And if Jesus can empower a bunch of low caste individuals to become key movers in the divine plan of salvation, God can empower us to do what we can to make the salvific plan known to others.

God can make even apparent negative or unimportant experiences turn into means of furthering the divine plan. We are part of God’s plan.

Through us, God’s message of salvation can reach more people. The focus, however, is not to be on us, but what God can do, using us. God wants us to assist in this plan. For our part, we must do the best job we can in proclaiming the divine message, and then we must trust that God will sanctify our efforts and make people open to the divine message which was presented by us. And once we have done our best to present the message, even if the message is not accepted, it is not us they reject but God Who works through us.


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