Posts Tagged ‘Joseph and judah’

God is Always There for You

Thursday, July 7th, 2011

Thursday of 13th Week of Ordinary Time

Gen 44: 18-21, 23b-29: 45: 1-5; Mt 10: 7-15

Dc. Larry Brockman


It sounds like a clear condemnation from Jesus, that those who don’t listen to his Evangelists, are doomed to be condemned and condemned harshly.  He even says it will go worse for them than the people of Sodom and Gomorrah.  And those people were violently destroyed!  


And yet, look at the mercy God the Father through Joseph bestowed on Jacob’s other errant sons.  These men definitely did not follow the will of God when they sold their brother Joseph into slavery.  But Joseph says at the end of this reading:  “It was really for the sake of saving lives that God sent me here ahead of you”, making It almost sound like God willed that Joseph be sold into slavery!   

Indeed, there is such a contrast between these two readings and it’s kind of in reverse compared to the norm we are used to where the God of the Old Testament seems harsher,   and the God of the New Testament seems more merciful.  So, what gives? 


Well, I think that people are challenged to live the life that God intends for them- God’s will for them, alright.  But let’s face it- things happen.  Fortunately for us, when we sin, life is not like what happens if you fall off a tall building.  God does cut us some slack.  Each moment of our life God is there offering us a new plan to repent and harmonize ourselves with His plan, even as we go wrong.  It is kind of like these new GPS devices in our cars.  When you make a mistake, the device right away calculates a correction.  Oh, we have to face the consequences of the mistakes, alright, just like the consequences of missing our turn or exit on the road.  But the correction is offered to us by God immediately, relentlessly merciful in His approach, just like these GPS devices offer us an alternative right away.


Jacob’s sons made a big mistake, and they had to face the consequences.  One of those consequences was the famine that they experienced as a family.  Fortunately for them, it was in God’s plan to bless Joseph as he was offered his alternate path to God’s plan for him once he was sold into slavery. 


What God teaches us in the New Testament is that He hates to be ignored, not listened to, put on the back burner, and rejected.  It is then that His attitude is severe.  The Evangelists in the Gospel are commissioned to spread the Good News.  But when folks ignore it and reject the Good News, they are turning their back on the constant reform that is offered to them.  Jesus is advising His Evangelists to be harsh under these circumstances.  But to those who listen, who are in tune with God’s ever present urges to respond to Him even as we fail, God will be merciful and kind to us.


And that’s the Good News.  No matter what you’ve done; God is always there for you, even in the midst of your sin, urging you to repent and make a correction.  And just like Jacob’s family in the Old Testament story, you will be blessed when you get back on track.