Thursday, July 13, 2017

Joseph, like most of us, had a bit of a grudge against his brothers. So much so that he threw one in prison and demanded they bring the youngest out before him. I imagine being sold into slavery had weighed heavily on his mind.

July 13, 2017

Thursday of the Fourteenth Week in Ordinary Time

Lectionary: 386

GN 44:18-21, 23B-29; 45:1-5

PS 105:16-17, 18-19, 20-21

MT 10:7-15


Joseph, like most of us, had a bit of a grudge against his brothers.  So much so that he threw one in prison and demanded they bring the youngest out before him.   I imagine being sold into slavery had weighed heavily on his mind.  Maybe had even slipped his mind for a time as his life took a turn for the better.   He had a family, a wife, wealth, and good health!  Imagine the shock at seeing his brothers for the first time in all those years.   The thought of getting revenge might have seemed a pleasant one, and in his position, Joseph could have easily have done so and no one would have asked any questions.   Joseph’s true freedom though, became when he let go of the past and forgave those who had wronged him.   It was a healing moment for both his brothers and himself.

Jesus in the Gospel sends his disciples on a mission.  He reminds them to not allow the physical things of life tie them down.   Don’t get attached to wealth or what you are to eat.   Simply go and trust God to provide.  That’s one of the hardest things to get into our thick skulls.  We often say “I trust God” then we go about preparing our backup plans in case God isn’t watching as closely as we want, or in case his plans don’t match ours.  He tells them not only to go without supplies but also without money to provide them.  Then he even tells them not to charge for what they are doing, but simply to give freely and generously.  That requires a great deal of faith.

I think that both stories remind us of the same simple truth.  We can’t allow the physical or emotional baggage of our lives weigh us down.   It’s in forgiving those who have wronged us that we ourselves are set free.   All those grudges and painful scars can be heavier than any backpack filled with supplies, but even fretting over everyday minutiae can make life into an unceasing toil.    It is important for us to not allow the past to trap us, blind us, or bind us.   It can freeze us in our tracks and prevent us from moving forward, prevent us from loving or sharing our hearts.   Jesus tells us to jump into his arms, not preparing ahead of time, not making sure it’s safe… but trusting.   Are we ready for that?  Are we ready to free our hearts of all that is holding us down and soar on the wings of eagles?