Friday of the Second Week of Lent Reflection

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Today’s reflection was written by Brother Lawrence Harvey, C.F.X.

“Your brothers, you know,
are tending our flocks at Shechem.
Get ready; I will send you to them.”

[Genesis 37:13]


If we hold in suspense for a moment what we know about the story of the family of Jacob, particularly the story narrated in today’s first reading from Genesis, the story of Joseph sold into Egypt, and think only of Jacob’s words to Joseph, the one he “loved best of all his sons,” as he sends him off to visit his brothers tending the flocks, we can imagine the hope filled anticipation with which Joseph went out to meet his brothers. As the youngest of the sons he no doubt looked up to his older brothers and cherished the thought of going out to be with them. Clothed with his long ornamental tunic (his coat of many colors), which Jacob had given him, Joseph set out. Since he was the “master dreamer” perhaps he was having pleasant daydreams of what his reunion with his brothers would be like, thinking of the meal they would enjoy, the dreams he would speak about with them.  Imagine, now, his surprise that he was not greeted with a warm fraternal embrace, but rather was tied up, thrown into a cistern and later sold off into slavery.

However, since Joseph knew not only that he was loved by his father, but also beloved of God, he certainly turned to God. As our theme for this week of Lent tells us, “to turn toward God is to turn away from the fantastic and the extraordinary and to embrace the ‘reality principle,’ to embrace the world as it actually is and to offer ourselves in service to its call.”

Joseph, we know did this. In placing himself in service to the call he discovered in this turn of events in his life, as well as others, that he was not only able to save himself, but to find himself in a position of prominence and authority in Egypt where he would serve as an agent of God’s compassion in time of famine. That compassion would extend to the very brothers who had sold him into slavery.


Recommended Exercise

Take 10 – 15 minutes to reflect on the follow question.

As you continue your Lenten journey, where are you invited to “embrace the ‘reality principle,’ to embrace the world as it actually is” and offer yourself in service to the call of this moment?



Majestic and merciful God, we constantly put ourselves before You. As we continue this Lenten journey with whole and contrite hearts, give us the Grace to turn toward You, to see that we are your servants in this world. And, may we who follow the Xaverian Way, commit ourselves to renewing our family and being Your compassionate presence in the world today. We ask this in the name of Jesus, Your Son and our brother. Amen.


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