Friday of the Second Week of Lent
(Genesis 37:3-4.12-13a.17b-28a; Matthew 21:33-43.45-46)
There is a story about resentment. The wise man was talking to a fool who resented his brothers. He told him that harboring resentment is like drinking poison and waiting for your enemy to die. In today’s first reading we meet group of men who harbor resentment against their brother.
Joseph is not only Jacob’s child in old age; he is also an innocent dreamer. The Scripture doesn’t say this, but it is likely that Joseph never thinks badly of anyone. If he meets a poor farmer, he imagines him to be a plantation owner and treats him with deference. If he encounters a crabby housewife, he dreams her to be gracious queen and offers to kiss her hand. Joseph’s brothers consider this kind of behavior worse than contemptuous. They want to kill him for it.
We are better, of course, to be like Joseph than his brothers. We should look for the best in others although without imagining something that is not there. When we find a worthwhile trait, we can respect the people for it. Resentment for them will not just make the whole situation worse. It is likely to cause our death sooner rather than later.