Friday of the Second Week of Lent
(Genesis 37:3-4.12-13a.17b-28a; Matthew 21:33-43.45-46)
Parents of drug addicts sometimes tell the sad story of how they had to lock their doors on their addicted children. After repeated instances of having their household treasures stolen to support a drug habit, they said, “Enough is enough,” and refused their troubled children entry into their homes. In today’s reading from Genesis we hear the story of Joseph’s brothers treating him with even greater disdain than some drug addicts manifest toward their parents.
Not all his brothers conspire to kill Joseph. Rueben, the eldest of the lot, suggests that they hold him prisoner while he figures out how to send him home safely. Another brother, Judah, seems to have a similar sentiment, but his suggestion to sell Joseph to Ishmaelite traders may just be a way to turn a profit. In sum, the motive of all the brothers, save Rueben, is treachery. They exemplify the dark side of humanity in crying need of renewal.
We are coming to the middle of Lent. Hopefully, we have noticed by now that our motives are sometimes not just mixed but can be perverse. Perhaps we dislike seeing friends and family members receiving credit. Perhaps we show cruelty to people when we know that we can get away with it. Now is the time to repent of this wrongfulness and to beg God’s grace.