HOMILY OF FRIDAY OF THE SECOND WEEK OF LENT YEAR B
Gen. 37:3-4.12-13a.17b-28, Mathew 21:33-43.45-46
THEME: THE BEAUTIFUL AND DARK SIDE OF CONSPIRACY
If we are destined us for greatness, there is nothing that can stop us. We can only stop ourselves by the way we interpret or misinterpret our life experiences. What we call conspiracy at times is a stepping stone to our next level. The vast multiple of conspirators may be working simply to push us to where we can meet the only admirer we need for our ascent to greatness. At times, when we don’t realize that an environment cannot serve our life purpose, God can use our haters to flush us out to where we belong. Those who killed Jesus never knew the role they were playing in his mission on earth.
The story of Joseph in our today’s first reading is a great inspiration for those who suffer envy and jealousy, especially in the hands of those who are close to them. His brothers hated him because they realized that their father’s love for him surpassed theirs. They sold him into slavery. They got rid of him. They forgot that Joseph cannot occupy their space in the family.
However, to face the stark reality, one must bow to the fact, that, it is not always easy to succeed or make it in the company of those who hate us. We need an environment that is devoid of their toxins. We need the environment where we can feel positive energy that can feed or serve our dreams in life. It is all who can survive in tensed environment. There are times when by our spiritual age and maturity, we cannot exercise the power of resilience over the forces that strive to pull us down. In those moments, we need a safe abode.
Though the plan of Joseph’s brothers was to end his life dream , leaving their company was the first step to the achievement of his life purpose. Their initial plan was to kill him. Graciously, God put a different idea into Reuben, one his disgruntled brothers, and he said, ” _Let us not take his life. Shed no blood.; cast him into this pit in the wilderness, but lay no hands upon him”_ Genesis 37:21-22. His plan was to come and rescue him later. However, having done this, Judah introduced another strategy and he said, ” _What profit it is if we slay our brother and conceal his blood? Let us sell him to the Ishmaelites, and let not our hands be upon him, for he is our brother, our own flesh_ .” Genesis 37:26:27
Unfortunately, we often find ourselves in the company of evil doers, and at times, we do not know when we get ourselves entangled in their wickedness. All the brothers of Joseph in the field planned to kill him, but not all get the same conscience. This passage shown the persons of Reuben and Judah. Their individual conscience came to play. They did not allow the collective wicked conscience to take total control of them.
Hence, we must examine our conscience any time we want to carry out any act with others, lest they soak our hands into what will later bite us. Nevertheless, they joined in the sales of their brothers, because they were already in the web of envy and jealousy. Though, envy may be natural, jealousy may be part of human reality, we must not act on them. They can destroy.
Moreover, in order to actualize his plan in Joseph’s life, God did not allow his brothers to hatch the full content on their plan. He allowed them to sell him into slavery. When there is life, there is hope. However, while God may allow the hands of the wicked to touch the innocent, he will visit them in due time when their cup is full.
More so, though, conspiracy may be a plus for the innocent or those destined for greener pasture next door, conspirators will not go free. They are self-condemned. We see an example of how the chiefs priest and the elders of the people condemned themselves, having listened to the parable of the wicked tenants. They answered Jesus, “the owner of the vineyard will put those wretches to a miserable death, and lease the vineyard to to other tenants who will give the fruits in their seasons.” Matthew 21:41. They never knew that they were condemning themselves.
May God help us to get rid of all traces of envy and jealousy. May he save us from all form of wickedness. May he remove us from the camp of those who plot evil. May we not be ruled by destructive societal conscience. Amen.