Genesis 37:3-4. 12-13. 17-28
Matthew 21:33-43. 45-46
I truly believe that something good will come from every act of destruction, every heart-breaking situation, and each moment of pain and suffering. Something good will always come – this is the power of God.
Joseph is the beloved son of Israel. His love for Joseph cannot be measured, but his favouritism inspires jealousy and hatred amongst his other sons. Their actions towards their youngest brother are cruel and, perhaps, unforgivable. Yet, BECAUSE Joseph is sold as a slave, he travels to Egypt. BECAUSE he is in Egypt, his ability to interpret dreams is discovered by the Pharaoh. This gift, scorned by his brothers in Canaan, is glorified by the Pharaoh in Egypt. One could argue that, had he never endured the pain of his brother’s betrayal and the suffering he bore as a slave, he would never have lived his life according to his God-given potential. He may also never have had the opportunity to forgive.
The Landowner, in today’s Gospel, entrusts the tenants with his produce. When he discovers they are torturing and killing his servants, he sends his son, believing, as Israel did in sending Joseph to his brothers in Shechem, that they would respect him, yet they do not. Their hearts are filled with greed and hatred, and they also kill the son.
Rather than emphasising a vengeful God, however, Jesus’ parable highlights God’s grace. It is the rejected stone; the one cast away, that will ‘become the cornerstone.’ Joseph, tossed into the well by his brothers, sold for twenty pieces of silver, alongside the prophets/servants and the Son/Jesus, who are cast aside, betrayed, denied and crucified, will be integral to God’s plan of goodness and grace.
Without the Cross, there can be no Resurrection. We can only recognise the capacity of God’s generosity with the realisation of God’s unfathomable mercy.
Angela Marquis works as a chaplain in a Tasmanian local primary school and with the Passionists at St Joseph’s Hobart Parish. She completed a Master of Theology in 2021 and is currently studying Biblical Hebrew with the Israel Institute. She enjoys rock climbing and long leisurely beach walks with her husband and four-legged daughter.