Saturday, July 15, 2017

Can I Take the Place of God?

"Have no fear. Can I take the place of God? Even though you meant harm to me, God meant it for good, to achieve his present end, the survival of many people. Therefore, have no fear. I will provide for you and for your children." By thus speaking kindly to them, he reassured them.  Genesis 50:19-21

“Everyone who acknowledges me before others I will acknowledge before my heavenly Father.”  Matthew 10:32

See, you lowly ones, and be glad; you who seek God, take heart! (Psalm 69:33)

In the readings from Friday, Joseph was finally reunited with his dying father.  Now, after his father is buried in the ancestral grounds, Joseph finishes off his amazing journey of mercy with an ultimate act of forgiveness directed toward his always scheming brothers.  Those brothers continued their jealousy right up to the very end in order to save their own necks.   

Joseph’s humble words ring out across the millennia: “Can I take the place of God?”  Jesus might have been thinking about the example set by his ancestor Joseph when he was giving them the instructions for their mission.  “Everyone who acknowledges me before others I will acknowledge before my heavenly Father.”

Just as Joseph was an example of the responsibility he felt to care for his brothers and their children.  Not only did he offer forgiveness of sins, but in the long line of leaders of the Hebrew Bible, he pledged to care for their widows and children. “Therefore, have no fear. I will provide for you and for your children."

In the spirit of expressing our modern responsibility to care for others, Dorothy Day once said, “The Gospel takes away our right forever, to discriminate between the deserving and the undeserving poor.”  That rings true as we walk through the debate over health care.

Bishop Frank J. Dewane of Venice, Florida, Chairman of the U.S. Bishops' Committee on Domestic Justice and Human Development, reacted strongly to the revised Senate health reform bill, the "Better Care Reconciliation Act" (BCRA).

"The USCCB is reviewing carefully the health care bill introduced by Senate leadership earlier today. On an initial read, we do not see enough improvement to change our assessment that the proposal is unacceptable. We recognize the incremental improvement in funding the fight against opioid addiction, for instance, but more is needed to honor our moral obligation to our brothers and sisters living in poverty and to ensure that essential protections for the unborn remain in the bill."

Consider how the Good News calls upon us to acknowledge God and care for his children, especially those who are poor. What can you do to help them take heart and be glad?

No comments: