Read Genesis 49:29-33, 50:15-26, Psalm 105 and Matthew 10:24-33
“Fear not, for am I in the place of God? As for you, you meant evil against me; but God meant it for good, to bring it about that many people should be kept alive, as they are today. So do not fear; I will provide for you and your little ones.” (Genesis 50:19-21)
After their father’s death, the brothers of Joseph were not convinced that Joseph had truly forgiven them. They feared that Joseph was only waiting for their father to die before striking back. So, they went to prostrate themselves before Joseph to ask for pardon. This was now the second time they would bring Joseph’s dream to reality.
Joseph showed that his forgiveness was not merely cosmetic but complete. He had not forgotten what they did to him but he was no longer pained by that. Joseph needed to reassure them not to be afraid and he promised to provide for his brothers and their children. Joseph wasn’t bluffing, he kept this promise.
It is interesting to note that Joseph’s forgiveness came before, not after his brothers offered their apology. Joseph not only forgave them, he went the extra mile to assure them of his protection and provision. It is not enough that we say: “I have forgiven you” only to cut ties completely from the person afterward. Forgiveness is complete when we are able to restore that friendship and brotherhood that existed before.
Like these brothers of Joseph, there are times we still feel guilty even after we have gone for confession. There are times we feel we haven’t been forgiven by God yet or that God could punish us later. As Joseph assured his brothers, we need to let go of our fears and trust completely in God’s mercy.
In yesterday’s Gospel passage, Jesus tells his disciples that He is sending them out as sheep in the midst of wolves and that they were going to face all kinds of persecution even from family members. This must have been scary to the disciples. Nevertheless, in today’s Gospel passage, Jesus tells them not to let fear take hold of them.
“Have no fear of them; for nothing is covered that will not be revealed, or hidden that will not be known.” (Matthew 10:26)
“Do not fear those who kill the body but cannot kill the soul; rather fear him who can destroy both soul and body in hell.” (Matthew 10:28)
“Fear not, therefore; you are of more value than many sparrows. So everyone who acknowledges me before men, I also will acknowledge before my Father who is in heaven.” (Matthew 10:31-32)
Basically, Jesus is saying that in the midst of all we have to go through for the sake of our faith, we should continue to trust completely in God’s protection. If we acknowledge Him before our fellow men, He would acknowledge us before God.
Let us pray: Lord Jesus, may my every thought, word, and deed be a profession of my faith and devotion to you. Amen.
Be Happy. Live Positive. Have Faith. It is well with you. God bless you. (Saturday of week 14 in Ordinary Time. Bible Study: Genesis 49:29-33, 50:15-26, Psalm 105 and Matthew 10:24-33).