We are called to Love God and neighbor, Not with the ‘love’ as defined by secular society, but real love or charity, defined as self-sacrifice for the good of others.
In today’s reading, Joseph’s brothers clearly did not display love of him by any definition of the word, they plotted to kill him out of jealousy, but eventually sold Joseph off as a slave. Who was this action good for? The brothers? No, they had to live with the guilt. Joseph’s father? No, he was heartbroken. The Ishmaelites? No, they were complicit in the brother’s sins and had to answer for it before God. But God used the brothers lack love to show real love.
Today’s Psalm continues Joseph’s story as he becomes lord over Pharaohs household and all his possessions. God uses Joseph in this powerful position to save his brothers. He could have chosen vengeance but chose love. God uses the actions of Joseph’s sinful brothers to save the family of Israel from starvation. Along with many Egyptians as well.
The Pharisees plot against Jesus in today’s Gospel, again out of jealousy. And because we know the end of the story, Christ uses their evil intent to save not only His brother Jews, but many of us as well. I’m not sure how willing Joseph went with the Ishmaelites, but we know Jesus willing went to the cross out of love for his Jewish brothers and sisters as well as for us. Jesus self-sacrifice was for our good. What are we doing to imitate that kind of love?