Learning to Forgive: Lessons From Joseph


Read Genesis 44:18-21,23-29;45:1-5, Psalm 105 and Matthew 10:7-15

“I am your brother, Joseph, whom you sold into Egypt. And now do not be distressed, or angry with yourselves, because you sold me here; for God sent me before you to preserve life.” (Genesis 45:4-5)

Joseph had every moral justification to deal mercilessly with his brothers. After all these years, they never admitted their fault but somehow Joseph found a way to forgive them. How? Joseph saw a higher purpose in their wicked act – he saw the big picture – he was able to understand that his sufferings and pains (his slavery, his experience with Potipher’s wife, his imprisonment, his ability to interpret dreams etc.), were all for a reason.

Joseph could see that God was making use of these experiences for his good; that God was writing straight on very crooked lines; that even though his brothers never meant well for him, God sent him ahead of them to preserve life. Who knows? If Joseph was not Prime Minister of Egypt during that great famine, that would have been the end of the Israelite Nation. Joseph was able to understand this and without waiting for his brothers to apologize, he simply forgave them.

Have you been seriously offended in the past such that you are still having trouble forgiving and letting go? What if I told you that God allowed that painful experience to happen only because He knew that something good could come out of it? Would you still continue holding a grudge? Please just let it go. Stop waiting for their apology.

Free your heart and move on. What you have now is far better than what you think you lost. Try to see the brighter side. Trust that God has always and will always be there for you even in your darkest moments, God is still there for you. He did it for Joseph. He will do it for you.

In our Gospel passage, Jesus commissions the chosen twelve saying: “Preach as you go.” This means, the minister preaches first by his life, then by his words. Jesus goes on to explain how the minister preaches by his life: “Take no gold, nor silver, nor copper in your belts, no bag… nor two tunics, nor sandals.” Without a certain sense of disdain for the world’s riches, the minister could easily fall into the second temptation of Jesus – to bow down for Satan in exchange for the glories of the world.

His disciples began to wonder: “Is He sending us on a suicide mission?” Jesus immediately added: “the labourer deserves his food.” That is, “seek first God’s kingdom and God will provide everything you need.” This is not easy to practice but it works. God, the good shepherd always provides what is needed.

Let us pray: Lord Jesus, teach me to find freedom by forgiving others and let go of the things of this world. Amen

Be Happy. Live Positive. Have Faith. It is well with you. God bless you. (Thursday of week 14 in Ordinary Time. Bible Study: Genesis 44:18-21,23-29;45:1-5, Psalm 105 and Matthew 10:7-15).