The father of the Jewish people was Abraham, the first of the patriarchs, who lived about 1800 years before Christ. He was chosen by God to be the father of a special people in a special relationship with God, and from whom the Savior of humankind would rise. Abraham had a son, Isaac. Isaac had a son, Jacob, whose name was changed to Israel. And Jacob/Israel was the father of the twelve men who became the progenitors of the tribes of Israel.
Jacob’s favorite son was Joseph, and because of that, his brothers became envious of him and came to hate him. To get rid of him, they sold him to some slave traders on their way to Egypt. Thus Joseph is reduced from being the favorite of his father in their family home among the Jewish people of Palestine to being a slave in the pagan land of Egypt. Imagine how he felt, going from a high place in the social and religious life of his own people, to the dungeons of an alien people. Well, by a long series of events guided by Divine Providence, Joseph became what we might call the Secretary of Agriculture of Egypt and a close friend of the Pharaoh. When there was a famine in his native land, his brothers came to him to buy grain, but of course, didn’t recognize this influential and important Egyptian politician as their own brother whom they had sold years ago for 20 pieces of silver.
Joseph helped them, revealed his true identity to them, and thus became their savior. He saved those brothers of his who tried to get rid of him years before. This is a prophecy in action. Jesus is the beloved Son of our heavenly father. His brothers—the people of his own time—tried to get rid of him by crucifixion. But, out of that terrible circumstance, he became their, and our, savior. So as we contemplate the Joseph & Jesus connection, let us adore Our Lord and thank him for saving us by his crucifixion. By our sins we made the crucifixion necessary; and by his death on that cross, he brings us everlasting life. Thank you for seeking God’s truth. God bless you. Father Victor Brown, O.P.
Note: This message was composed some years ago.