3 Now Israel loved Joseph more than any other of his children, because he was the son of his old age; and he made him a long robe with sleeves. 4 But when his brothers saw that their father loved him more than all his brothers, they hated him, and could not speak peaceably to him. 12 Now his brothers went to pasture their father’s flock near Shechem. 13 And Israel said to Joseph, “Are not your brothers pasturing the flock at Shechem? Come, I will send you to them.” And he said to him, “Here I am.” 17 And the man said, “They have gone away, for I heard them say, ‘Let us go to Dothan.'” So Joseph went after his brothers, and found them at Dothan.
18 They saw him afar off, and before he came near to them they conspired against him to kill him. 19 They said to one another, “Here comes this dreamer.
20 Come now, let us kill him and throw him into one of the pits; then we shall say that a wild beast has devoured him, and we shall see what will become of his dreams.”
21 But when Reuben heard it, he delivered him out of their hands, saying, “Let us not take his life.” 22 And Reuben said to them, “Shed no blood; cast him into this pit here in the wilderness, but lay no hand upon him”–that he might rescue him out of their hand, to restore him to his father. 23 So when Joseph came to his brothers, they stripped him of his robe, the long robe with sleeves that he wore; 24 and they took him and cast him into a pit. The pit was empty, there was no water in it. 25 Then they sat down to eat; and looking up they saw a caravan of Ishmaelites coming from Gilead, with their camels bearing gum, balm, and myrrh, on their way to carry it down to Egypt. 26 Then Judah said to his brothers, “What profit is it if we slay our brother and conceal his blood? 27 Come, let us sell him to the Ishmaelites, and let not our hand be upon him, for he is our brother, our own flesh.” And his brothers heeded him. 28 Then Midianite traders passed by; and they drew Joseph up and lifted him out of the pit, and sold him to the Ishmaelites for twenty shekels of silver; and they took Joseph to Egypt.
33 “Hear another parable. There was a householder who planted a vineyard, and set a hedge around it, and dug a wine press in it, and built a tower, and let it out to tenants, and went into another country.
34 When the season of fruit drew near, he sent his servants to the tenants, to get his fruit; 35 and the tenants took his servants and beat one, killed another, and stoned another. 36 Again he sent other servants, more than the first; and they did the same to them. 37 Afterward he sent his son to them, saying, ‘They will respect my son.’
38 But when the tenants saw the son, they said to themselves, ‘This is the heir; come, let us kill him and have his inheritance.’
39 And they took him and cast him out of the vineyard, and killed him. 40 When therefore the owner of the vineyard comes, what will he do to those tenants?” 41 They said to him, “He will put those wretches to a miserable death, and let out the vineyard to other tenants who will give him the fruits in their seasons.” 42 Jesus said to them, “Have you never read in the scriptures: ‘The very stone which the builders rejected has become the head of the corner; this was the Lord’s doing, and it is marvelous in our eyes? 43 Therefore I tell you, the kingdom of God will be taken away from you and given to a nation producing the fruits of it. 45 When the chief priests and the Pharisees heard his parables, they perceived that he was speaking about them. 46 But when they tried to arrest him, they feared the multitudes, because they held him to be a prophet.
THE FIRST READING tells the story of Joseph’s brothers who devised a plan to kill him, however Rueben the eldest brother suggested that they cast him into a dry pit so that Rueben may return later to rescue him and be lauded as a hero who saved his brother. Joseph’s brothers eventually decided to sell him into slavery for twenty shekels.
These acts of malice and betrayal by Joseph’s brothers were born out of jealousy and hatred because of their disordered deduction that Jacob the father of these men “loved Joseph more” than he loved them as well as Joseph’s apparent gift to interpret dreams that gave him an image of someone that must be revered!
St MATTHEW narrates our Lord’s parable that looks back into history in reference to the “servants” that refers to the old testament prophets who were sent to teach and bring God’s people closer to him throughout the ages, but alas many were rejected and killed by their own people. Our Lord posed a question to His audience (v40) which they got wrong, because they still did not recognize that He is the ‘Son’ of God! This parable does not refer to the ‘Parousia’ also known as the second coming of Christ, it refers to His manifestation when He was born of a woman two thousand years ago. The reaction of the Pharisees and chief priests were telling when they misinterpreted our Lord’s teaching. They probably did not think He was a ‘dreamer,’ but that He seriously came to destroy them which triggered their attempt to arrest Him!
To be sure, all of us have some of the features of the Pharisees and the chief priests who depict God as having set the bar too high for us to be saved. Moreover our disregard to live according to His precepts by indulging in sin that contradicts our calling to be in service of Him, is an indictment of what we say we believe and how we live our lives. May we use this time of advent to indulge the Holy Spirit to awake us from our slumber and disordered dreams that desire self importance and power.May we reorder our lives to produce good fruit that shall make us worthy of His grace and mercy, rather than squander our gifts of life, for a few dollars more!
LET US PRAY: Psalms 105:16-21
16 When he summoned a famine on the land, and broke every staff of bread,
17 he had sent a man ahead of them, Joseph, who was sold as a slave.
18 His feet were hurt with fetters, his neck was put in a collar of iron;
19 until what he had said came to pass the word of the LORD tested him.
20 The king sent and released him, the ruler of the peoples set him free;
21 he made him lord of his house, and ruler of all his possessions,
firstname.lastname@example.org Henry R SYLVESTER
Note: The daily scripture readings are taken from the Roman Missal which the Catholic Church use in the daily Celebration of the Holy Eucharist throughout the world.Some readings may differ because of the celebration of local feast days of saints around the world
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