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Looking Ahead to Jesus through Joseph

Fr. Lawrence Jagdfeld, O.F.M., Administrator

Throughout the Book of Genesis, we have been reading stories that look forward to the Christian Scriptures and remind us of the plan that God set in place for our salvation. The figure of Joseph is introduced today, a man sold into slavery by his brothers for 30 pieces of silver, who rises to the second most powerful position in all of Egypt, and to whom the world comes looking for food. It would be difficult for anyone who knows this story to ignore the similarities between Joseph and the man Jesus.

Perhaps the most enigmatic part of this story is the hunger which the people of Israel are feeling as a result of the famine that has beset their land. While the southern part of the country is a desert, the northern reaches of Israel is a fertile plain, lush and green after the spring rains have nourished it. Yet the people do not appreciate the gift that God has given them and turn to other gods – stone idols which cannot feed them. The family of Jacob is surrounded by people who place their trust in powerless images. The famine that grips the land affects both the believer and the unbeliever.

All of the peoples of the then-known world come streaming to Egypt which has benefitted from the prophetic Joseph. During the seven years of plenty, Joseph has overseen the stockpiling of grain. He is now the source of nourishment not only for the Egyptian people but also for the neighboring peoples. His brothers have no idea what they have done and the plan they have set in motion by their deed. When they sold Joseph into slavery, they provided the world with a savior.

God has done the same thing for us. By allowing His beloved Son to be sold for the same amount to the Jewish authorities by Judas, God has provided us with a Savior who is has become our source of nourishment, our food for the journey.

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