The first reading today is the beginning of the story of Joseph from the Book Genesis (read the full story in Genesis 37-48). The youngest of 12 brothers, Joseph had two dreams where his family bowed “to the ground before (him).” His brothers did not appreciate these dreams or their meaning and “were furious at him.”
As a result of their fury, Joseph’s brothers plotted to kill him but one of them convinced the others to capture Joseph, spare his life and sell him into slavery. After many years of difficult circumstances, Joseph was able to save his family from a 7 year famine and they all moved to be with Joseph in Egypt. It’s a great story of ignorance, rejection, redemption, and love.
Joseph’s family rejected him because God was with him. In their lack of faith, they almost perished in a famine. Joseph took the higher ground. Despite that he was sold into slavery and later thrown in prison, Joseph “was so overcome with affection for his brother” that “he went into a private room and wept there.” (Gn 43:30)
In the second reading from the Gospel According to Matthew, Jesus told the Parable of the Tenants. In this parable, a landowner’s tenants rejected his authority. The tenants were to work the land and make wine for the landowner. When the landowner sent three servants to collect, the tenants killed each of them.
Finally, he sent his son to them,
thinking, ‘They will respect my son.’
I wonder if this is what God thoughts when he sent his son to us?
But when the tenants saw the son, they said to one another,
‘This is the heir.
Come, let us kill him and acquire his inheritance.’
They seized him, threw him out of the vineyard, and killed him.
I was in mass today and Father Dinh pointed out that the good news of the coming of Jesus as our savior is bad news for a lot of people. It is bad news because we love our sins. In our sinfulness, we are like the nefarious tenants who wanted their landlord’s inheritance for themselves.
As I reflected on these two powerful stories today, I thought about the reasons why Joseph’s family and the tenants both rejected God. I came up with three reasons and they are true for me in my life:
#1: I am selfish – In the case of Joseph’s brothers, they did not understand that he would later save them from starvation. They thought of their own interests instead of listening to Joseph’s dreams and reflecting on their meaning and the will of God.
#2: I lack faith – I have been greatly challenged recently in my profession. Today in particular, I struggled to remember that God has a plan. In such moments, I do not trust his plan for my life because I either do not want to wait for God’s plan (because I refuse to accept that am not ready for the next step) or I want my own plan (see #1).
#3: I want things – love, adoration, power, wealth. When I desire things of this world, it shows that my fundamental orientation has been disrupted. I have turned away from God and replace him with things of this world.
I pray tonight that through the grace of our Lord, I will not reject him or his will for me. I pray to have the courage to accept that he has a plan for me in my life and has given me the grace and tools to accomplish those things he desires for me. Finally, I pray to take the long-view of my life and practice the art of patience.
Please pray for Brody – an infant who is suffering from the effects of shaken baby syndrome. He has not had a seizure for 2 weeks and we hope that this is because of our continued prayers.
You might also like these related posts from cinhosa:
Today we remember Saint Frances of Rome
- The Cornerstone (tvaraj2inspirations.wordpress.com)
- The kingdom taken from the unrepentant (worryisuseless.wordpress.com)