Memory of the Church

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Reading of the Word of God

Alleluia, alleluia, alleluia

I am the good shepherd,
my sheep listen to my voice,
and they become
one flock and one fold.

Alleluia, alleluia, alleluia

Genesis 44, 18-21.23-29.1-5

At this, Judah went up to him and said, 'May it please my lord, let your servant have a word privately with my lord. Do not be angry with your servant, for you are like Pharaoh himself.

My lord questioned his servants, "Have you father or brother?"

And we said to my lord, "We have an old father, and a younger brother born of his old age. His brother is dead, so he is the only one by that mother now left, and his father loves him."

Then you said to your servants, "Bring him down to me, so that I can set eyes on him."

But you said to your servants, "If your youngest brother does not come down with you, you will not be admitted to my presence again."

When we went back to your servant my father, we repeated to him what my lord had said.

So when our father said, "Go back and get us a little food,"

we said, "We cannot go down. We shall go only if our youngest brother is with us for, unless our youngest brother is with us, we shall not be admitted to the man's presence."

So your servant our father said to us, "You know that my wife bore me two children.

When one of them left me, I supposed that he must have been torn to pieces, and I have never seen him since.

If you take this one from me too and any harm comes to him, you will send my white head down to Sheol with grief."

Then Joseph could not control his feelings in front of all his retainers, and he exclaimed, 'Let everyone leave me.' No one therefore was present with him while Joseph made himself known to his brothers,

but he wept so loudly that all the Egyptians heard, and the news reached Pharaoh's palace.

Joseph said to his brothers, 'I am Joseph. Is my father really still alive?' His brothers could not answer him, they were so dumbfounded at seeing him.

Then Joseph said to his brothers, 'Come closer to me.' When they had come closer to him he said, 'I am your brother Joseph whom you sold into Egypt.

But now, do not grieve, do not reproach yourselves for having sold me here, since God sent me before you to preserve your lives.


Alleluia, alleluia, alleluia

I give you a new commandment,
that you love one another.

Alleluia, alleluia, alleluia

One of the brothers, Judah, finally takes responsibility. He does not try to escape again through deceit; he no longer believes he can resolve the situation by remaining silent or by lying. Reconciliation begins when he begins to speak to Joseph, whom he still does not recognize, with an open heart. In fact, it is also difficult for them to find again their brother. They find him when they finally speak of their father and the pain he felt at the death of one of the two sons his wife had given him. When they had thrown him into the cistern to kill him, they had neither thought of their brother nor their father. Now they do. And they defend him. We rediscover the path of brotherhood when we take responsibility for our brothers and sisters, become their keepers, and understand the suffering of our mothers and fathers. Faced with Judah’s sincere words and the pain of his father, Joseph can no longer contain himself. When he is left alone with his brothers, in an intimate setting, Joseph finally reveals himself and weeps. Even Jesus will weep for the tired sheep without a shepherd. He will weep because Jerusalem does not listen to his words of change. The brothers are terrified when they recognize him. The brothers had not been able to speak to Joseph on friendly terms because of jealousy and division. But mercy finally softens their hearts and allows them to encounter each other. They fear human vengeance. Joseph, like Jesus, reveals to them that he was sent by God to save them and that everything, including suffering, is restored in his mercy. It is Joseph who takes on the difficulties of his brothers so that they might live. Like Jesus.