_*“Did I not tell you not to sin against the lad? But you would not listen. So now there comes a reckoning for his blood.” (Genesis 42:21)*_
Sir Isaac Newton said: “To every action, there is an equal and opposite reaction.” In other words, it is how you lay your bed that you lie on it. When Joseph’s brothers were wicked to him, they felt they could cut short his dreams but unknown to them; they were indirectly making those dreams a reality.
It was fun for Joseph’s brothers when they sat down to eat the food Joseph brought for them while they watched him being led into slavery in tears. It is also fun for us when we sometimes engage in sinful acts, but there comes a day of reckoning.
Joseph was just a child when he suffered betrayal from his brothers. The worst acts of man’s inhumanity to man today are evils meted out against children. Think of the millions of children whose lives are destroyed through abortion, child abuse, sexual assault, neglect, forced labour, and even prostitution.
If there is any lesson we must take home today, it is: “Be good to children.” Help these little ones; help them achieve their dreams. The same Joseph considered unnecessary by his brothers became Governor of Egypt. The same Joseph sold off is the one about whom Pharaoh said: “Go to Joseph, do whatever he tells you.”
Learn to treat your assistants, subordinates, employees, and those beneath your rank with love and respect. You never know what God has planned for their future. The evil we do lives with us. That child you aborted may be the helper God prepared for you. That child you refused to feed, molested, assaulted, and used as a work machine may become your life-saver tomorrow.
If the evil we do lives with us, the good we do also live with us. The good things you do or your help to others today will bless you tomorrow. It is never too late to make amends. Ruben asked his brothers: “Did I not tell you not to sin against the lad?” Of course, he told them, but why did he refuse to take action? Why did he hide the matter from their father? It is not enough to speak out against evil; we must take action to stop it.
In the Gospel passage, Jesus, having noted that the harvest is rich and the labourers are few, empowers his disciples for the work of God by giving them authority over unclean spirits and sicknesses.
Matthew mentions the names of the twelve. He also adds that among them was Judas Iscariot, who eventually betrayed Jesus (just as Joseph’s brothers betrayed him by selling him off to slavery). Jesus knew that Judas Iscariot was capable of this sin. Jesus knew he had personal weaknesses (such as greed, dishonesty, and stealing), but Jesus still ordained Judas. We may not be perfect, but as long as we are available to God, He can use us like a potter who makes beautiful clay pots from broken pieces.
Judas had so many opportunities to repent, but he remained adamant. His evil deeds caught up with him in the end. If you do not change, the evil you do today will hunt you tomorrow.
Let us pray: Almighty ever-living God, give me wisdom to constantly weigh the consequences of my thoughts, words, and deeds. Through our Lord Jesus Christ. Amen.
Bible Study: Genesis 41:55-57,42:5-7,17-24, Ps. 33:2-3,10-11,18-19, Matthew 10:1-7).*
@Rev. Fr. Evaristus E. Abu