“Remember the Marvels the Lord Has Done”
Certainly one of the most beautiful and touching stories in the book of Genesis, if not the whole Bible, is the story of Joseph. Full of drama, pathos and surprising turnabouts, the story is summarized in today’s Psalm 105: Joseph was sold (by his brothers!) as a slave and carried off to Egypt, he was falsely imprisoned in his exile and then not only freed but made the second in command to Pharoah over all of Egypt! But far more than a series of interesting details in a dramatic story is the interpretation given by Genesis to all of this drama. All of these chapters in the life of Joseph can be explained by one fact: God prepared all of this so that Joseph’s family could be cared for by him in Egypt when famine struck their land.
Joseph’s rejection by his family and subsequent mission of saving this same family gives us a foreshadowing of the life of the “son of Joseph,” Jesus of Nazareth. Quoting a psalm to explain his own life and to point toward his life’s ending, Jesus says to his adversaries in today’s gospel: “Did you never read in the Scriptures: ‘The stone that the builders rejected has become the cornerstone; by the Lord has this been done, and it is wonderful in our eyes?’”
Jesus, rejected, betrayed, put to death will be raised by the Father and become the “cornerstone,” the foundation on which the Church, the Body of Christ will be built, the family which Jesus, who has gone before us, will save and bring to life.
What marvels has the Lord done for us? What times and circumstances seemed to spell disaster, heartache, even abandonment for us and those around us, but were used by God to bring about an unforeseen good? Perhaps a devastating illness that proved to be a time of newly discovered faith? Perhaps the loss of a job that enabled another and better job to be taken? We are invited today to compose our own psalm of praise in remembrance of these times, encouraged by the faithful God of Joseph, the Father of Jesus and our Father as well.
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