Wednesday of the Fourteenth Week in Ordinary Time
(Genesis 41:55-57.42:5-7a.17-24a; Matthew 10:1-7)
The woman had lived a profligate life. In her youth she had committed all sorts of sins, mainly sexual. Now she felt great remorse. Although she had confessed the sins before, she needed to do so again -- completely and deeply. We see a semblance of this kind of guilt in the first reading today.
Joseph’s brothers kneel before him whom they would have left for dead. His request to see the only brother not in the company reminds the rest of their betraying Joseph years before. Their guilt surges as they say to one another, “Alas, we are being punished because of our brother.” Joseph, however, is ready to forgive. He has a plan to reunite his family, but there are risks. He may be revealed to all Egypt as a Hebrew and thus lose his precious status as keeper of the Pharaoh’s treasury.
The story should remind us of the relationship between Christ and us. Before him crucified we can see ourselves as hopeless sinners. But he came to reconcile us to God by the outrageous plan of the crucifixion itself. Thus, guilt serves a dual purpose: it reminds us of Jesus’ death for us and urges us not to sin again.