Here is my homily from this morning’s Mass. God bless all.
All week we have been hearing in our first reading the account of Joseph. As you recall, Joseph was the youngest of twelve sons born to Jacob (Israel), and his father seemed to favor him in a way. Joseph had been given a coat of many colors, and indeed won his father’s heart. The older brothers grew jealous of Joseph and decided to do away with him, and so they sold him into slavery and lied to their father about his disappearance. This brought great grief to Jacob and famine struck the land. He was presumed dead, only to be reconciled with his brothers and family, as we hear today.
What is it we learn from these readings?
I would suggest there are two things. The first is something our Holy Father has written about, and it is this: unity is superior to conflict and the whole is greater than the part.
I wonder if we think about this when we are faced with the choice to enter into conflict or to maintain unity? How often we we are tempted to enter into petty disagreements over small matters in our families and our parishes! How often do we remind ourselves that we indeed have a choice, to be united or to be in conflict. Far too often we choose to split hairs, to disagree, to divide rather than unite. The whole is greater than the part, our Holy Father has said, indeed many have said before him. We need to remember this.
The second thing we learn from the account of Joseph is this: God never creates evil, but he can allow it because of our free will he can make something good arise from it. God can take the darkest of hours and bring light into it. The great evil committed by Joseph’s brothers did not stop God from making something importantly wonderful occur. God took Joseph from near death and slavery, gave him the attention of the Pharoah, and then Joseph became second only to Pharoah in governing a nation. In doing so, Joseph was able to save his people from death.
Isn’t God wonderful in his works? May we praise him always!