Thursday of the Fourteenth Week in Ordinary Time

Today’s readings contain a powerful message about the Providence of God.  God provides for what we need most, and if we have the humility and faith required we can also see what God is doing.  There is a very superficial level at which we can understand God’s Providence, but it will lead to disappointments and crisis of faith if we are not careful.  God is not trying to make us as wealthy and prosperous as possible.  The more we have in this life, the richer we become, the more we could be tempted to attach ourselves to the world and a worldly way of life.  It is so outstanding to see the transformation of Joseph in today’s first reading.  The beloved son of his father, rejected by his kin, betrayed and sold into slavery by his brothers, left for dead – we see Christ in Joseph.  Perhaps what is most outstanding is his wisdom at the end of today’s first reading:

“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.”

Joseph’s perspective on providence has to do how through his own trials and suffering, many other’s lives would be saved.  He does not speak about how horribly he was treated, nor does he take an attitude of superiority above the brothers who abused him.  His forgiveness and magnanimity are perfect.  The Apostles are invited to a similar expectation of God’s providence: seek first the Kingdom of God, and all these things will be given to you besides.  Seek first how you can bring the Gospel to whomever you meet, don’t worry about how God will provide for you.

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