When all the land of Egypt was famished, the people cried to Pharaoh for bread. Pharaoh said to all the Egyptians, “Go to Joseph; what he says to you, do.” And since the famine had spread over all the land, Joseph opened all the storehouses, and sold to the Egyptians, for the famine was severe in the land of Egypt. Moreover, all the world came to Joseph in Egypt to buy grain, because the famine became severe throughout the world.
New Revised Standard Version, copyright 1989, by the National Council of the Churches of Christ in the United States of America. Used by permission. All rights reserved. USCCB approved.
Today’s first reading shows us an amazing example of mercy and forgiveness in Joseph. People from all over, including his brothers who betrayed him, are coming to receive rations to help them in their time of need during the famine. He generously provides and chooses the path of mercy instead of resentment.
In the Ignatian prayer method of contemplation, we are invited to place ourselves into a scene from Scripture. As I place myself in this dramatic scene of the first reading, I can consider the question: How am I being called to exercise forgiveness and mercy in my life today…with myself, with someone close or distant, with my God?
Is there a spiritual famine that I am noticing these days, either in myself or others? In the spirit of Joseph’s generosity and mercy, how might I seek out the nourishment I need, or offer spiritual food for others who may need it?
Lord, you taught Joseph how to forgive his brothers for the wrongs they did to him. Help me to follow his example and forgive those in my life who have hurt me, and to let go of resentment that I am harboring. Amen
—The Jesuit Prayer team