Reflection for Friday, March 5, 2010: 2nd week in Lent.

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Shadle Cusic, Marcia
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What powerful readings today with so many ideas to ponder. In re-reading the story of Joseph I was struck today with the first line, "Israel loved Joseph best of all his sons."||As a mother, my kids tease my husband and I about who is the favorite child. Since we have three daughters and one son I am always safe in saying, "Philip is my favorite son!" But what about showing favoritism? Being privileged? Feeling resentful or feeling rejected???|In Joseph's case it definitely brought out resentment, anger, and maybe fear. Joseph was privileged and his brothers plotted to destroy the freedom that may have come from being the favorite. "We shall then see what becomes of his dreams." While Joseph becomes the victim, his brother Reuben is to be commended for stepping up, understanding the dynamics of resenting Joseph and trying to save Joseph's life without his brothers knowing his real intent. "His purpose was to rescue him from their hands and return him to his father."|The first reading is direct in telling us that no good will come from abusing others for our own personal gain. "What is to be gained by killing our brother and concealing his blood?" And yet Joseph is sold, betrayed by his brothers who, in the end, still attempt to limit his potential by selling Joseph into slavery. They attempt to eliminate "the favorite son" from their lives, and hoping that this will also take away their resentment, anger and fear.|What causes us to act in the same way as Joseph's brothers? Will we really find peace, happiness and joy in resenting others, in attempting to limit the freedom of another, in attempting to control the fate of others? Suffering, uncertainties, differences of opinions between people are all a part of the human condition and thus our need to trust God through these difficulties in life. Through prayer and reflection we can learn from life's uncertainties, our own insecurities and resentment of others. Asking God to help us find our inner strength and resources to help us get through thesedifficulties with ourselves and with others allows for personal and spiritual growth in learning more about our humanity.|In working through these difficulties which we find in life, we must remember "the ruler of the people - God - set him free." While we might fell resentful like Joseph's brothers or, rejected like Joseph, we must pray through these experiences of resentment and rejection, insecurities and uncertainties and become more faithful, more fruitful, allowing our faith and trust in God to become the cornerstone in our lives.
University Ministry, Creighton University.
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