Readings for Thursday July 9, 2009
Saint Augustine Zhao Rong, priest and martyr, and his companions, martyrs
First Reading: Genesis 44:18-21,23-29;45:1-5
Responsorial Psalm: Psalm 105
Gospel: Matthew 10:7-15
"Come closer to me," he told his brothers. When they had done so, he said: "I am your brother Joseph, whom you once sold into Egypt. But now do not be distressed, and do not reproach yourselves for having sold me here. It was really for the sake of saving lives that God sent me here ahead of you." (Genesis 45:4-5)
In today's first reading we read about Joseph finally revealing himself to his brothers (and talk about and example of compassion and forgiveness!). Joseph had every reason to get back at these guys, after all they were the ones who were always jealous of him as a child, sold him into Egypt where he had to spend some time in prison, and separated his from his family. Obviously, Joseph's situation drastically improved thanks to God, he was now one of the most powerful men in Egypt, second only to Pharaoh. Having all this power and influence, it would not have taken much for Joseph to have his brothers locked away for the rest of their lives for what they did to him. But Joseph, being wise and merciful, was faithful and realized that God had a plan for him, even though it was different than the life he probably thought than he would have. Joseph is granted the wisdom to see that God sent him to Egypt to save lives, not to condemn or take away life.
Joseph gives us a great model to follow, to realize that all of our circumstances are a part of God's perfect plan. While there may be times when we are going through a difficult situation that may not seem fair at all, we must trust that there is a reason for it. Many times when something happens to us that seems devastating, we just simply do not understand or feel as though there is any justice in the world; but we must remember at these times who is in control. Joseph was wise enough to look back on his life and his current situation to realize that God had him on a path, the right path. By following God and trusting in His plan, our reactions to our situations can be very different. We will no longer see misfortunes and tragedies as curses or bad luck, but rather all a part of God's perfect plan.
Today, let us be thankful to God for our lives and remember all that He has blessed us with.
Father above, we thank you and praise you for this day. Lord, we know that you have nothing but love and mercy for us, help us to always trust in you and your ways. Lord, we praise you for all that you have done in our lives and all that you will continue to do. Lord, help us to seek your will and to follow your plan instead of ours. We pray for all those who have a hard heart and have somethings or someone in their life which they are having trouble forgiving; Lord help them to find the peace necessary to forgive and to turn to you. We ask this all through Christ our Lord. Amen.