A reading from the Book of Genesis 44:18-21, 23b-29;45:1-5
......."Come closer to me," he told his brothers. When they had done so, he said:"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.".......
REFLECTION: "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."
God has a way of turning our worst moments or our failures and turning them around. Most of us carry our heaviest crosses hidden below the surface, deep in our souls. Name your cross--loneliness, discouragement, despair, fear, betrayal, and disbelief--to name a few. Some wounds in our hearts just don't go away.
Joseph, second youngest, was liked the most by Jacob, his father. And his brothers were jealous and eventually sold him as a slave to Egyptian traders.The brothers lied to their father. Joseph, after much turmoil and years in prison, became prime minister of Egypt. Forty years later there was a famine and he came face to face with his brothers. Joseph recognized them but they did not.
Joseph sobs MANY times when he meets them forty years later. The pain inflicted by his brothers is still so heavy on his heart. His brothers seeing that they were having trouble in Egypt let their guilt on how they betrayed Joseph surface and they argue among themselves about this. Joseph heard this and he wept even more. Some wounds in our hearts just don't go away. Joseph's wounds were still there, still fresh, as were his brothers'.
We are told by Jesus that if we forgive others their trespasses, your heavenly Father will also forgive you. Forgivenss is the key. Only God can lift the guilt--He sent His Son to die for us so that we can be healed. There is a direct relationship. We cannot receive God's forgiveness if we do not forgive others. "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."
In the sacrament of reconciliation Jesus cleanses us. When we are alert to our hearts we are aware of when our hearts need healing. Jesus will make us clean, He will give us a new heart and a new spirit. He will replace our stony hearts with a new clean heart. Joseph forgave his brothers and his brothers asked for forgiveness.
Let us go to reconciliation and ask God to cleanse our souls. May our priests become our spritual directors during confession