In the first reading today from Genesis 41 and 42, we see part of the story of Joseph. After being sold into slavery, Joseph became the second most powerful man in Egypt, right behind the Pharaoh. The same brothers who sold him into slavery had to come begging to him for their lives. Only the brothers didn’t know it was Joseph.
In the Gospel reading from Matthew 10, Jesus sends out the Twelve with these instructions: “Do not go into pagan territory or enter a Samaritan town. Go rather to the lost sheep of the house of Israel.” As a Jew, Jesus was concerned about his own people first. We know that Jesus came to bring salvation to all people, but He had a special place in His heart for His own people; His family. Probably very much like you, right?
I’ve found that most people have family members who no longer practice the faith or go to church. Some have even become hostile toward religion, or even us. For most, this is heartbreaking. It must have been for Jesus, too. Knowing that so many of His family had fallen away, He wanted to reach out to them. I hope that we will do the same. I’m sure you know that this can be quite difficult at times. But if we truly love them, we’ll keep reaching out in ways big and small to let them know that we love them, and that God has a wonderful plan for their life that includes Him.
Father, give us the strength and courage to go to the lost sheep in our own families. May we bring them your love and grace. Amen.