Seeing the Bigger Picture

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When bad things happen to people, they often ask, “Why, Lord?” Today we see more of the story of Joseph, who had the right answer for that question in his life. More on that in a moment. In the Gospel reading from Matthew 10, Jesus gives the Apostles their marching orders. “Without cost you have received; without cost you are to give.”

Joseph was sold into slavery by his brothers, only to rise to the height of power. He was the quintessence of someone who deserved to hold a grudge. After all, look at what his brothers did to him. They sold him into slavery, then came begging to him for food. Though they didn’t know who he was, he could have done whatever he wanted to them. Had them arrested, or just not give them food and let them starve. But Joseph saw the bigger picture. He says it in the last line of today’s first reading. “It was really for the sake of saving lives that God sent me here ahead of you.”

The bigger picture. If we could only get a handle on that, we wouldn’t need to ask God why bad things happen. Because everything happens for a purpose. And if we can just forge ahead, knowing that somehow, some way, God will make good of this…well, the world would certainly be a better place. It’s always easier to see in hindsight. But to know it in the here and now; that’s what faith is all about.

Father, we know that everything happens for a purpose in our lives. Help us to trust that, even when we are going through the most difficult of times, you know the way, and will lead us there safely. Amen.

Today’s Readings


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