“Alas, we are being punished because of our brother.” The Old and New Testament passages form an excellent merger of faith and wisdom for all of us today! Joseph in the First Reading prepares us to understand Jesus in the Gospel. Let us recall what happened to the youngest brother Joseph earlier in this passage: “Here comes that master dreamer! Come on, let us kill him and throw him into one of the cisterns here; we could say that a wild beast devoured him. We shall then see what comes of his dreams.” Joseph was clearly overwhelmingly blessed with spiritual gifts beyond measure. Unfortunately, his brothers were cursed, as it were, with insane jealousy and pompous envy. These tragically blocked a clear vision to the values of gifts that God places, not in just one person, but throughout all of humanity so that we may find Him in this world.
This presupposition is confirmed and further delineated in the Gospel today: “Jesus summoned his Twelve disciples and gave them authority over unclean spirits to drive them out and to cure every disease and every illness.” Jesus was also assailed with the same insanity and pettiness as was Joseph in the First Reading. What we have here today is an exposition of pretentious attitudes that undermine true faith in Jesus who is pure humility and love. Sincere people who are looking for meaning and truth in this world continue to search with meekness will eventually come across the one who loves them with all the might of heaven. Narrow-minded and frivolous approaches to life block the light of God like the tiny moon obscures the brightness of our sun. The prayer for increased faith must always accompany the desire for a humble heart. Then, and only then, will we be able to find the beauty of our religion: “Lord, let your mercy be on us, as we place our trust in you.”
Suppose you could gain everything in the whole world, and lost your soul. Was it worth it? Billy Graham