Dear sisters and brothers,
Once upon a time there was a father who had twelve sons. Though he loved each of them he had a soft spot in his heart for the second youngest of them, Joseph. The others became jealous of Joseph and decided to kill him. However, at the last minute, they changed their minds and instead sold him to some passing merchants. They told their father that he had been killed by a wild animal.
Joseph was taken in chains to Egypt, where he was sold as a slave. He had a wretched life. To make matters worse, he was falsely accused and ended up in the dungeons. Though surrounded by hardened criminals, he continued to trust in God and live a good life. He even made friends among criminals. Eventually he cleared his name, and was released.
Then, foreseeing that a terrible famine was coming, he advised the king to get the people to save corn. The king not only took his advice but put him in charge of the operation. Joseph did a splendid job.
The family duly arrived and people were able to draw on the corn they had stored away. But things were going badly in the neighboring countries. People came from all over Egypt to look for the corn. And the king would say to them: “Go to Joseph.”
One day Joseph’s brothers arrived looking for corn. When they recognized him they trembled with fear. But instead of taking revenge, Joseph received them with great kindness, and gave them as much corn as they wanted. He told them to come back and bring their father with them.
The aged father was overcome with joy on hearing that his beloved son was alive. A great treachery had been committed against Joseph by his brothers. But thanks came out of it all. He was able to save his brothers from the famine, and re-unite the entire family.
The story of Joseph is one of the greatest stories in the Bible. Joseph is a figure of Jesus, the Father’s beloved Son, sold by one of his friends, put to death, but now raised up by the Father and placed at the right hand in glory. From his exalted position he saves us, his brothers and sisters, from sin and death. And he seeks to bring together all the scattered members of God’s family.
This is the day we celebrate the Ascension of Jesus to the right hand of his Father. It is a day of joy. But he has given us a task to perform for him. Not to distribute corn, but to preach the Good News to the entire world. Amen!
Peace and Everything good!
Fr. Valery Burusu