We were made for truth, beauty and goodness. These are the unchanging foundations of the world that give the stability necessary for us to thrive. Satan and his followers, fallen angels and humans, reject these and throw the world into chaos. Things are chaotic in the world around us and in the Church. Inside and out it appears everything is spinning out of control and insane. Fear is often a response to chaos. We panic because we want order, but everything is out of control, as a reaction we become a dictator, a control freak, or we place our faith, hope and trust in human solutions alone. In so doing we accept a type of dictator at the price of our freedom. Do we turn to God’s Providence in apparent chaos or do we try to control everything find some human answer that can give us the security we long for?
The 1st reading in the Mass today (March 22, 2019) is the Story of Joseph from Genesis. Joseph was kidnapped by his brothers and sold as a slave:
“Now Joseph was taken down to Egypt, and Potiphar an officer of Pharaoh, bought him.” Genesis 39: 2 tells us that God was with Joseph and everything went well with him. Potiphar’s wife tries to seduce Joseph but Joseph refuses and he is thrown in prison for his chastity and fidelity. Genesis 39:21 tells us and there in jail he stayed but once again, God was with Joseph. In the middle of all of this, Joseph grew in trust, in hope and in love of God. Pharaoh’s Cup-bearer and Baker are tossed in Prison in Genesis 40. The Cup-bearer and the Baker have dreams and Joseph interprets their dreams and tells them: "Remember me when all is well with you."
Two years pass – the Cup-bearer has forgotten Joseph (13 years since Joseph was sold into slavery) and Pharaoh has a dream about 7 fat and 7 skinny cows. Joseph interprets Pharaoh’s dreams correctly and he is placed “over the household of Egypt.” Joseph marries Asenath, the daughter of the Priest of On. On is where Re (Rah) was worshipped. Re was the highest god – even over Pharaoh! The Priest of On was revered even more than Pharaoh . So Joseph is not only equal to Pharaoh, he marries into the highest aristocracy. He was so highly though of that he was embalmed and put into a coffin in Egypt. This was only done to kings. Joseph becomes, so to speak, king of Egypt. He has two sons:
Manasseh = God has made me forget all my suffering
Ephraim = God has made me fruitful in the country of my
Joseph sees that God has orchestrated all things - even the evil of his brothers - for his good. He abandons himself into the Hands of Divine Providence. The 7 years of plenty came to an end… There is famine throughout the Middle East and Joseph’s brothers come to Egypt to buy grain. Joseph recognized the brothers who did him evil and he eventually reveals himself to them. They are convinced Joseph will avenge himself and they are scared to death.
Genesis 50: But Joseph answered them: “Do not be afraid, for am I in the place of God? The evil you planned to do me has by God’s design been turned to good, that he might bring about, as indeed he has, the deliverance of numerous people.”
CCC (Catechism of the Catholic Church) 312:
In time we can discover that God in his almighty providence can bring a good from the consequence of an evil, even a moral evil, caused by his creatures. “It was not you,” said Joseph to his brothers, “who sent me here, but God…You meant evil against me; but God meant it for good, to bring it about that many people should be kept alive.” From the greatest moral evil ever committed – the rejection and murder of God’s only Son, caused by the sins of all men – God…brought the greatest of goods: the glorification of Christ and our redemption.
We know that by turning everything to their good God co-operates with all those who love him, with all those that he has called according to his purpose. We were made for truth, beauty and goodness. These are the unchanging foundations of the world that give the stability necessary for us to thrive. Satan and his followers, fallen angels and humans, reject these and throw the world into chaos. Things are chaotic in the world around us and in the Church. Inside and out it appears everything is spinning out of control and insane. Fear is often a response to chaos. We panic because we want order, but everything is out of control, as a reaction we become a dictator, a control freak, or we place our faith, hope and trust in human solutions alone. In so doing we accept a type of dictator at the price of our freedom. Do we turn to God’s Providence in apparent chaos or do we try to control everything find some human answer that can give us the security we long for?
What is our stable foundation, our anchor in the storm? It is only Jesus Christ and in Him alone should you place your trust because Jesus Christ is the same yesterday, today and forever. Jesus cannot change, truth cannot change, right and wrong, good and bad, cannot change. These are expressed in the Catechism of the Catholic Church, but nobody reads it. The world looks like it is in chaos. Im sure it looked that way to Joseph when he was in prison. But God is in charge of the world. Don't worry about what God is in charge of. He'll take care of that. If you focus on what God is doing in everyone else's life (meaning the whole world and the global community), it'll stress you out, because it always stresses us to assume responsibilities that weren't meant for us. If you focus on what God has put in your life, you'll be happy.
Spend your attention energy and time on what you are in charge of (i.e., prayer, family, friends, work). Things are going to get more chaotic outside the Church and inside the Church. Don’t panic. Relax, Jesus remains the Lord and Master of history. His divine providence is guiding all things. Our response is to do what we are supposed to do. Go to bed on time. Get up on time, spend time in silence in gratitude, an examination of conscience, meditation, making a practical concrete resolution. Receive the Eucharist as often as possible. Belong to Mary, stick close to her and pray the Rosary every day. Fulfill your duties and responsibilities for the love of God with joy. Spend time with family and friends. Eat, drink, talk, and laugh with them. Most importantly, laugh at yourself and have a good sense of humor. Accept your personal cross each day. Experience beauty through nature, literature, art or music. Help someone else to Mary and Jesus by means of invitation, hospitality, authentic friendship, good conversation and prayer.
Original Source: https://schooloffaith.com/
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The example of Joseph and Jesus shows us how we are to respond to evil in our lives as the reflection below confirms:
Finding Forgiveness & Healing Through Abandonment
By Gretchen Filz
"I will see the hand of God in all that happens to me, attributing nothing to individual people, who are but instruments used by Him in the work of my sanctification." —St. Raphaela Mary
Once we know how to handle our emotions, and how we can experience interior freedom regardless of the movements of our passions, we will be well-prepared for another important aspect of surrender to divine providence: forgiveness.
Acknowledging Our Wounds
It is impossible to live in a fallen world without being wounded by the sins of other people (and inflicting wounds on them ourselves). Some of these wounds, if left unaddressed, become deeply buried in our soul. Our wounds then manifest themselves in various ways—whether in the choices we make, the emotions we feel, or in our social interactions—often bringing us more suffering as a result.
The wounds that have been inflicted on us can ultimately be traced back to God who, for divine reasons we may not understand in this life, chose not to prevent them. We don’t like the idea that God allows us to suffer; we want Him to protect us from every pain.
However, if we allow ourselves to view our wounds from a new perspective, we’ll discover—surprisingly—that it’s actually freeing to know that it is God Himself, the One who created our soul, who permitted us to be wounded.
If He allowed it, it means He has a plan in mind, and therefore our suffering is never pointless. God is in control of every detail, and He will bring good out of it.
This powerful truth is the very thing that gives meaning and value to our suffering. When we truly understand that none of our pain is wasted and that God can ultimately bring about something good even from our wounds, we can begin to forgive and heal. This understanding also brings a new perspective to how we view those who have hurt us.
"Do not be not angry with men who injure you; but, recognizing in them the instruments of the Divine dispensations, love them, and give thanks to God. Regard with the eyes of your heart Him who allows you to be tried by troubles, rather than those who trouble you." —Abbot Louis de Blois, O.S.B.