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The Everyday Prayer

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Icon of the Holy Face
Church of Sant'Egidio, Rome

Memorial of Floribert Bwana Chui, a young Congolese man who was killed by unknown assailants in Goma for he opposed corruption.

Reading of the Word of God

Alleluia, alleluia, alleluia

You are a chosen race,
a royal priesthood, a holy nation,
a people acquired by God
to proclaim his marvellous works.

Alleluia, alleluia, alleluia

Genesis 41, 55-57; 42,5-7.17-24

But when all Egypt too began to feel the famine and the people appealed to Pharaoh for food, Pharaoh told all the Egyptians, 'Go to Joseph and do whatever he tells you.'

There was famine all over the world. Then Joseph opened all the granaries and rationed out grain to the Egyptians, as the famine grew even worse in Egypt.

People came to Egypt from all over the world to get supplies from Joseph, for the famine had grown severe throughout the world.

Thus the sons of Israel were among the other people who came to get supplies, there being famine in Canaan.

It was Joseph, as the man in authority over the country, who allocated the rations to the entire population. So Joseph's brothers went and bowed down before him, their faces touching the ground.

As soon as Joseph saw his brothers he recognised them. But he did not make himself known to them, and he spoke harshly to them. 'Where have you come from?' he asked. 'From Canaan to get food,' they replied.

Whereupon, he put them all into custody for three days.

On the third day Joseph said to them, 'Do this and you will live, for I am a man who fears God.

If you are honest men, let one of your brothers be detained where you are imprisoned; the rest of you, go and take supplies home for your starving families.

But you must bring your youngest brother back to me; in this way, what you have said will be verified, and you will not have to die!' And this is what they did.

And they said to one another, 'Clearly, we are being punished for what we did to our brother. We saw his deep misery when he pleaded with us, but we would not listen, and now this misery has come home to us.'

Reuben retorted to them, 'Did I not tell you not to wrong the boy? But you would not listen. Now comes the accounting.'

They did not know that Joseph understood, because there was an interpreter between them.

He turned away from them and wept. When he was able to speak to them again, he chose Simeon out of their number and had him bound while they looked on.


Alleluia, alleluia, alleluia

You will be holy,
because I am holy, thus says the Lord.

Alleluia, alleluia, alleluia

The famine brings back together the brothers whom jealousy had divided, just as happened to the prodigal son, who found himself and his father’s household when he was in the moment of greatest difficulty, when he was dying of hunger. Joseph’s is a house of plenty, which has bread when no one else is giving it. He not only sold it to the Egyptians, but to all those who were suffering from hunger. Joseph’s solidarity gives him the chance to find his brothers, and is the first step to rebuilding their broken relationship. Love for our neighbours always helps us to rediscover fraternity. Joseph does not reveal himself to his brothers right away. Reconciliation is always a journey of change. He puts his brothers to the test and helps them experience the suffering they had made him feel, which he still felt deep in his heart. Jesus is Joseph, the one who reconciles brothers and finally gives the bread that saves. Jesus helps us free our hearts from sin, which we always have to account for, just as the brothers realize when Joseph asks them to bring their youngest brother. Jesus, like Joseph, does not ignore sin and does not pretend, but helps us understand our sin without humiliating us, because, with his mercy, we can change.

Memory of the Saints and the Prophets