Reading 1 GN 44:18-21, 23B-29; 45:1-5
Responsorial Psalm PS 105:16-17,18-19,20-21
Gospel MT 10:7-15
Today’s readings speak of sibling rivalry at it’s very worst: big betrayals, lies, and deception, all causing huge struggles. We read the story of Joseph, the favored son of Jacob. Joseph’s brothers were jealous of him and devised a scheme to get rid of him. They considered killing him but ended up selling him as a slave to foreigners. God knew this was going to happen, and already had a plan in place. Joseph trusted what he had heard from God and knew the hardships he went through would provide healing for those around him. Genesis 45:5 says, “And now, do not be distressed and do not be angry with yourselves for selling me here, because it was to save lives that God sent me ahead of you.”
The Gospel also speaks of getting ready, for the kingdom of Heaven is at hand. This involves sacrificing yourself and offering your life to God’s will. They were asked to not take anything for the journey but still offer peace and healing to everyone—even those with leprosy.
What this tells me is that we must trust our instincts and have faith… Even if we don’t feel at peace with a situation at first, we must have courage to make the necessary changes. That isn’t an easy task, as we often get into a rut. Even though we aren’t really happy in a place-- we get comfortable, so rather than do the work to trust the plan that God has laid down for us, we stay put. At the end that never bodes well for our spiritual and physical being.
Change is hard, but necessary. In the early 1990’s I (Kathleen) had just lost my mother, (my father was already gone) and I was heartbroken. I felt like an orphan, as my mother’s death really changed the dynamics of my family, my two brothers and myself. My husband and I were living far from our Nebraska roots and were feeling very alone and vulnerable. My husband was a store manager of a local department store, which made him so busy he could barely keep his head above water. I had a job selling ads in a local newspaper, a job I could do but didn’t really enjoy. My boss was dialing up the pressure for me to sell more ads, and already I felt like I wasn’t able to take care of the little mom-and-pop business that really needed me. I was floundering. Clearly unhappy with my life, I shared this with my husband, he and I agreed that if needed I could just leave that job and move forward with my childhood dream of becoming a Nurse, which I had all but abandoned.
God showed up and showed out. Soon after my conversation with my husband, my boss sat down at my desk and gave me the do-it-or-don’t speech, so I gave my notice. I shared with my boss my dream of being a nurse, and he was very supportive and actually encouraged me. To this day, I remember him saying, “you will be a fantastic nurse, your humor will heal those hurting souls.” I felt like a bird who had been shoved out of the nest. I was scared! Looking back, so many things fell into place clearly God had His Hand in whole process. In 1993 I obtained my degree, and the rest is history. I wasn’t at peace in that newspaper job, so I dusted off my shoes and took my leave! Thank God I did! I absolutely love nursing; it serves my servant heart well.
Trust your instincts, those instincts are God’s way of telling you what you need to do. Keep Him close in your thoughts, (for me my thoughts are my prayers) and feel those nudges and trust, just trust.
-Kathleen R. Welsh