FRIDAY, SECOND WEEK OF LENTReading 1: Gen 37:3-4, 12-13, 17-28 We hear the story of Joseph, hated by his brothers and sold as a slave into Egypt for twenty pieces of silver. Gospel: Mt 21:33-43, 45-46 Jesus relates the parable of the tenants of a vineyard who abuse the owner’s messengers, and when the owner sends his son, they kill him: a prophecy of how Jesus will be treated
COMPARISON IS THE THIEF OF ALL JOY
Today’s reading reminds us of the story of Joseph and his brothers in the Old Testament. It is true that Israel loved Joseph more than his brothers. Nevertheless, he loved his other sons as well. Joseph understood his father’s love for him. This made him love his brothers who ill-treated him. The problem with his brothers was that they were so engrossed in comparing themselves with their favoured brother, that they failed to recognize how much their father loved them. Thus, all that they were left with was jealousy and hatred.
Does not the same thing happen even today? Jealousy, resentment, hatred has given rise to sibling rivalry that has led to so many crimes committed against one’s own flesh and blood. The root cause of it all is the lack of realization of one’s incomparable value of being precious in the eyes of God. He, who has created us in his own image and likeness, gives us every opportunity, to know how precious he has made us, and to enhance this exceptional dignity and worth bestowed upon us. It is we who miss out on these opportunities, by seeking to measure our value by the perishable things and fleeting affections of this world.
For Joseph, it must have been very painful to suffer hostility and rejection from his own brothers. But he rose above his natural instincts, to act by the power of grace. This we see in the course of his life. He was left to die in a well, and then sold to the Midianites as a slave by his own brothers. Yet, when God placed him in a position of authority over them, he forgave. We can recognize here his closeness to God. He trusted him and accepted his will even in his most painful circumstances, thus becoming a docile instrument to bring to fulfilment the divine plan. Joseph teaches us today to recognize our worth in the eyes of God and not of men, and to trust in his love, no matter where he chooses to lead us.
Responsorial Psalm: Ps 105: 16-21 Remember the wonders the Lord has done.
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