I'm baaack! Sorry for the lapse in posting, folks. Life has a way of overwhelming you sometimes, and some family issues have kept me a little too busy. My mom completed her radiation treatment and finished her time in the rehab center. She is now back in her own home and doing pretty well, so you and I are able to be together again and take up our task of celebrating God's blessings in our lives.
For the past several weeks we have been reading from Genesis for the first reading at daily Masses. Today we reached the part that tells of the reunion of Jacob and his son Joseph. Genesis and Exodus are really fascinating to read, and they were definitely part of the consciousness of Jesus and His followers. It can help us examine our own lives and see how God can take even difficult or tragic situations (usually caused by the refusal of people to do God's will) and give us new ways to experience the holy. Just as Joseph, for example, experienced the jealousy of his brothers, was sold into slavery, imprisoned and thought to be dead by his father, we also have various hurtful, harmful and disastrous things happen on our lives. The way that Joseph came to be in a position of power, where he had the ability to save the lives of his father, brothers and the rest of the family was also a great test. He could have chosen to exact revenge on those who harmed him, refusing to help and condemning them to death by starvation. Instead, he chose to accept the opportunity God had presented him and took steps to reunite with his family, forgiving his brothers. Joseph realized that God had used the horrendous situation his brother caused and made it the means by which he could save their lives. Rather than hold a grudge and look for revenge, Joseph took the path that would bring him and his family together again.
It is a wonderful meditation for us when faced with people who harm us. Our reaction can either reflect love and forgiveness, which come from God, or anger and the desire for retribution, which come from the devil. It is certainly not easy, but we have to realize that the more we work to forgive others who have caused us pain, the more we are united with the Lord, who forgave those who crucified Him.