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July 07, 2021

Gn 41: 55-57; 42:5-7a, 17-24a

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. Thus the sons of Israel were among the other people who came to buy grain, for the famine had reached the land of Canaan. Now Joseph was governor over the land; it was he who sold to all the people of the land. And Joseph’s brothers came and bowed themselves before him with their faces to the ground.

When Joseph saw his brothers, he recognized them, but he treated them like strangers and spoke harshly to them. “Where do you come from?” he said. They said, “From the land of Canaan, to buy food.” And he put them all together in prison for three days. On the third day Joseph said to them, “Do this and you will live, for I fear God: if you are honest men, let one of your brothers stay here where you are imprisoned. The rest of you shall go and carry grain for the famine of your households, and bring your youngest brother to me. Thus your words will be verified, and you shall not die.” And they agreed to do so.

They said to one another, “Alas, we are paying the penalty for what we did to our brother; we saw his anguish when he pleaded with us, but we would not listen. That is why this anguish has come upon us.” Then Reuben answered them, “Did I not tell you not to wrong the boy? But you would not listen. So now there comes a reckoning for his blood.” They did not know that Joseph understood them, since he spoke with them through an interpreter. He turned away from them and wept; then he returned and spoke to them. And he picked out Simeon and had him bound before their eyes.

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.

Moving from anger to mercy

How much of my life is consumed by thoughts of anger? Do I spend any amount of time planning how I might settle the score with those who have wronged me?  Do I convince myself that vengeance will make me whole?

As we see in the story of Joseph and his brothers, the opportunity presents itself clearly.  And who would blame Joseph for leveling a harsh punishment?  And yet, Joseph is moved by mercy and love for his brothers, despite their past wrongs. 

Is it not true for ourselves, too, that deep down we know anger cannot satisfy nor bring about order or justice?  For we do not come to the Father guilt free, but rather in need of his mercy.  Is it not right and just then to extend mercy similarly to others?  Best to offer what we rely on from God and what we hope to receive from others.  I can start today by praying for those who have wronged me.

Matt Nickson is the Director of Pastoral Ministry at Rockhurst High School in Kansas City, Missouri, where he has worked for 16 years.  He is an alum of De Smet Jesuit High School (2001)  in St. Louis and Rockhurst University (2005) in Kansas City, Missouri. 

 

Prayer

Our Father, who art in heaven,
hallowed be thy name;
thy kingdom come;
thy will be done on earth as it is in heaven.
Give us this day our daily bread;
and forgive us our trespasses
as we forgive those who trespass against us;
and lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from evil.
Amen.


Please share the Good Word with your friends!

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July 07, 2021

Gn 41: 55-57; 42:5-7a, 17-24a

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. Thus the sons of Israel were among the other people who came to buy grain, for the famine had reached the land of Canaan. Now Joseph was governor over the land; it was he who sold to all the people of the land. And Joseph’s brothers came and bowed themselves before him with their faces to the ground.

When Joseph saw his brothers, he recognized them, but he treated them like strangers and spoke harshly to them. “Where do you come from?” he said. They said, “From the land of Canaan, to buy food.” And he put them all together in prison for three days. On the third day Joseph said to them, “Do this and you will live, for I fear God: if you are honest men, let one of your brothers stay here where you are imprisoned. The rest of you shall go and carry grain for the famine of your households, and bring your youngest brother to me. Thus your words will be verified, and you shall not die.” And they agreed to do so.

They said to one another, “Alas, we are paying the penalty for what we did to our brother; we saw his anguish when he pleaded with us, but we would not listen. That is why this anguish has come upon us.” Then Reuben answered them, “Did I not tell you not to wrong the boy? But you would not listen. So now there comes a reckoning for his blood.” They did not know that Joseph understood them, since he spoke with them through an interpreter. He turned away from them and wept; then he returned and spoke to them. And he picked out Simeon and had him bound before their eyes.

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.

Moving from anger to mercy

How much of my life is consumed by thoughts of anger? Do I spend any amount of time planning how I might settle the score with those who have wronged me?  Do I convince myself that vengeance will make me whole?

As we see in the story of Joseph and his brothers, the opportunity presents itself clearly.  And who would blame Joseph for leveling a harsh punishment?  And yet, Joseph is moved by mercy and love for his brothers, despite their past wrongs. 

Is it not true for ourselves, too, that deep down we know anger cannot satisfy nor bring about order or justice?  For we do not come to the Father guilt free, but rather in need of his mercy.  Is it not right and just then to extend mercy similarly to others?  Best to offer what we rely on from God and what we hope to receive from others.  I can start today by praying for those who have wronged me.

Matt Nickson is the Director of Pastoral Ministry at Rockhurst High School in Kansas City, Missouri, where he has worked for 16 years.  He is an alum of De Smet Jesuit High School (2001)  in St. Louis and Rockhurst University (2005) in Kansas City, Missouri. 

 

Prayer

Our Father, who art in heaven,
hallowed be thy name;
thy kingdom come;
thy will be done on earth as it is in heaven.
Give us this day our daily bread;
and forgive us our trespasses
as we forgive those who trespass against us;
and lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from evil.
Amen.


Please share the Good Word with your friends!

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