Genesis 41:55-57; 42:5-7a, 17-24a
On my shelf, I have a little statue of Saint Joseph sleeping, dreaming. Bishop Long of Vinh in Vietnam gave it to me. It is a little statue. You can hold it in your hand. Joseph dreaming.
The story of St Joseph sits alongside the story of another Joseph in the Old Testament. They were both dreamers.
His brothers hated Joseph because Jacob, their father, loved him more than them, hated him when he got his amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat, and their hatred boiled over when he told them they were bowing down to him in his dream. “Here comes the dreamer”, they said before selling him to a slave trader from Egypt, where one day he would save Egypt from famine by interpreting the king’s dreams.
St Joseph, in his dream, learned that Mary had conceived by the Holy Spirit that she would bear a son to be called Jesus, who would save the people from their sins. Later, when jealous King Herod began murdering baby boys, an angel spoke to Joseph in a dream, “Get up, take the child and his mother, and flee to Egypt. We have two dreamers, two Josephs, and two generous men, sensitive and alert to God’s call.
Jesus called 12 men to be his apostles, and he sent them out to tell people that the Kingdom of Heaven is at hand. And he sends us too. We need to be sensitive and alert like those two men called Joseph, with ears attuned to discern God’s call to us to go out and tell the world that the Kingdom of Heaven is at hand, a kingdom of peace and love.
May your dreams be of Peace. May the world around you become better, and more loving, through the way that you spread the good news of the kingdom. You don’t have to be a preacher. You can spread the news by the way you live, by the way, you listen and by the way you give yourself for others.
Jeff Foale is an Australian Passionist living in Vietnam, a former New Guinea missionary with a passion for service of the poor and refugees and who loves life in all its forms and enjoys photography.