Friday of the Fourteenth Week in Ordinary Time
July 12, 2019
Today, in Mercy, we read about a family reunion of biblical proportions! After many years, Joseph – long-thought dead- is reunited with his grieving father, deceitful half-siblings, and beloved younger brother. Wow!
For better or worse, “Family” is a powerful force in every one of our lives. It both nurtures and siphons us; both exalts and critiques us; frees us and binds us.
In many ways, family makes us who we are – by blood and genes – but more importantly by the hope and promise it places in us. This was the case with Joseph, the great hope of his father Jacob and the misunderstood threat to his jealous brothers.
Today’s reading shows us a family who has made it through their devastating conflicts, not by their own effort, but by the abiding promise of God.
So many fractured families wish they could tell the same story of redeeming wholeness! What were the openings in this family’s brokenness that allowed God to enter and heal?
As so often in our human story, God comes dressed in ordinary clothes. God wears the garments of our grief, repentance, forgiveness, hope and longing. He is disguised in our memories, cherished or painful. He peeks through our unresolved regrets, and dances in our acts of kindness, patience, and understanding.
We reach through to touch this God of Hope by our smallest mercy, our offered reconciling word, our tendered apology for a slight grown bigger with the years. And sometimes, we must simply let go of that which is unreconcilable, of those human hurts that can’t be healed because of time’s passage or unreachable hearts.
We let this God of Promise live in our families by honestly loving one another, supporting one another, thanking one another, and anticipating one another’s needs.
Being a strong family takes courage and sacrifice – something Joseph’s brothers were lucky to learn, however late. Let us pray in hope and thanksgiving for our own families – and for all families — that God may give us that kind of self-sacrificing courage. Let us pray especially for young families, in today’s very inhospitable world, that they may grow strong in God’s and each other’s love.
Music: Family Prayer Song – The Promise Keepers