In the Gospel reading today from Matthew 10, Jesus sends out the Twelve and gives them their “marching orders.” He says to them, “Without cost you have received; without cost you are to give.” The same holds true for us. God has given us everything freely. We should be willing to share the gifts that we have freely.
In the first reading from Genesis 44 and 45, we read more of the story of Joseph. His brothers had sold him into slavery. He had risen in the ranks of Pharaoh’s court and was governor of all of Egypt. He was tasked with giving grain to all the people during the terrible famine. Now his brothers had to come to him to save their lives. He finally reveals himself to his brothers and embraces them, even in their shame and guilt. Joseph says, “But now do not be distressed, and do not reproach yourselves for having sold me here. It was really for the sake of saving lives that God sent me here ahead of you.”
Being sold into slavery was certainly bad. Imagine how frightened Joseph must have been. But over time, God took that very bad thing and turned it into something very good. He used Joseph in a mighty way. God is like that. When we open our hearts to him, good things can come of very bad things. When we don't wallow in our misfortune but rather let God teach us and use us, very good things will happen.
Father, we know that you have a great plan for our lives. Help us to understand that even trials and hardships are given us to accomplish your greater purpose. Amen.
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