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Thursday, July 8, 1999

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Genesis 44:18-21, 23-29; 45:1-5
Psalm 105:16-21
Matthew 10:7-15

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jesus, our brother

"I am your brother Joseph." —Genesis 45:4

When Joseph was seventeen, his brothers threw him into a cistern to starve him to death (Gn 37:24). Later, they changed their minds and sold him into slavery for twenty pieces of silver (Gn 37:28). Throughout this trauma, his brothers "saw the anguish" of Joseph's "heart when he pleaded" with them, yet they "paid no heed" (Gn 42:21). Next, Joseph's brothers broke their father's heart by lying to him and saying Joseph was killed by a wild animal (Gn 37:31ff). Twenty-two years later, Joseph's brothers continued to hate themselves for their crimes. They viewed their misfortunes as just punishment for their sins (Gn 42:21, 22). Jacob refused to acknowledge these sons. He claimed to have only two sons, Joseph and Benjamin (Gn 44:27).

Joseph revealed his identity to his sinful, murderous, lying, and guilt-ridden brothers by saying: "I am your brother Joseph" (Gn 45:4). He acknowledged and "owned" them as his brothers even though they were practically disowned by their father.

Joseph prefigures Jesus, Who also was sold for pieces of silver (Mt 26:15). We, like Joseph's brothers, have sinned grievously. By our sins, we have helped crucify Jesus, God, our Savior. Nevertheless, Jesus in His mercy is not ashamed to call us His brothers (Heb 2:11). He even introduces Himself as "Jesus, your Brother" (see Mt 28:10).

Prayer:  Brother Jesus, thank You for accepting and forgiving me. Heal me and help me forgive myself.

Promise:  "Cure the sick, raise the dead, heal the leprous, expel demons." —Mt 10:8

Praise:  Albert repented and reconciled with his brother.

Reference:  (For related teaching, order our book, Who Am I in Christ?)

Nihil Obstat:  Reverend Robert L. Hagedorn, November 28, 1998

Imprimatur:  †Most Reverend Carl K. Moeddel, Vicar General and Auxiliary Bishop of the Archdiocese of Cincinnati, December 1, 1998