Friday of the Second Week of Lent
Our scriptures for today present us with two issues that we often face in life. They are jealousy and holding on to what we think is best and not what God thinks is best.
Certainly the familiar story of Joseph and his brothers reminds us of what jealousy, what envy can do to us. How they can make us think and act toward others, even people we love. Perhaps like the religious leaders of Jesus' time Joseph's brothers reflect only on the narrowness of their life rather than seeing the bigger picture. Rather than trusting in their father's love.
I think it is only human to want to be recognized, to want to be valued, to want to be loved. The story tells us that Israel loved his sons but that he had a special affection for Joseph because he was the last and the son of Israel's old age. How often do we hear the saying, "Mon and dad liked you best!" It happens, or it seems to happen. Mothers and fathers often have a special feeling for one of their children but it never means that they do not love the others. Yet, that human emotion of wanting attention, of wanting a special love can overwhelm us and make us do stupid things.
Thinking we know best is equally as troublesome. The religious leaders get a lesson in what they have done wrong from Jesus today. How they have ignored God's way and walked down their own path. How they have ignored the presence of God in their life in order to hold on to their own power, authority and way of life. God is in their midst yet they fail to see. They fail to respond. They fail to grow!
What can we take away from our readings today perhaps that they are an opportunity to reflect on our own lives? How often do we look around and feel sorry for ourselves because God seems to love others more than us? How often does the presence of others make us uncomfortable even jealous because we think they have something we do not? Yet, we are all blessed by God; we are all created in the image and likeness of God. We all have a place, a purpose and meaning here in this world. God loves us all. The question is can we recognized, accept and live out that love. Can we believe and trust in God's love for us?
Finally are we willing to accept and buy into God's way or does it always have to be our way. In the midst of living life are we willing to see God's presence and grow in the presence? Can we recognize God standing in our midst or do we have a better idea?
Have a blessed day everyone and may the Passion of Jesus Christ be always in our hearts!
- Fr. Paul R. Fagan, C.P., - St. Vincent Strambi Residence