March 28 Lent 3
15 So the men took this gift. They took twice as much silver with them, together with Benjamin. They left, traveled down to Egypt, and received an audience with Joseph. 16 When Joseph saw Benjamin with them, he said to the manager of his household, “Bring the men to the house and slaughter an animal and prepare it because the men will have dinner with me at noon.” 17 The man did as Joseph told him and brought the men to Joseph’s house.
18 When they were brought to Joseph’s house, the men were frightened and said, “We’ve been brought here because of the silver put back in our sacks on our first trip so he can overpower us, capture us, make slaves of us, and take our donkeys.”
19 They approached the man who was Joseph’s household manager and spoke to him at the house’s entrance: 20 “Please, Master, we came down the first time just to buy food, 21 but when we stopped to spend the night and opened our sacks, there was the exact amount of each man’s silver at the top of his sack. We’ve brought it back with us, 22 and we’ve brought down with us additional silver to buy food. We don’t know who put our silver in our sacks.”
23 He said, “You are fine. Don’t be afraid. Your God and your father’s God must have hidden a treasure in your sacks. I received your money.” Then he brought Simeon out to them.
24 The manager brought the men into Joseph’s house and gave them water to wash their feet and feed for their donkeys. 25 They prepared the gift, anticipating Joseph’s arrival at noon, since they had heard that they would have a meal there. 26 When Joseph came into the house, they presented him the gift they had brought with them into the house, and they bowed low in front of him. 27 He asked them how they were and said, “How is your elderly father, about whom you spoke? Is he still alive?”
28 They said, “Your servant our father is fine. He’s still alive.” And they bowed down again with deep respect.
Comment: now Joseph knows his brothers are trustworthy. The brothers he knew were not worthy of trust. Joseph now knows his father is alive, and he knows Benjamin is alive and well looked after. This must have been such a healing moment for Joseph, an opening perhaps like the Gospel story to follow.
31 Then he returned from the region of Tyre, and went by way of Sidon towards the Sea of Galilee, in the region of the Decapolis. 32 They brought to him a deaf man who had an impediment in his speech; and they begged him to lay his hand on him. 33 He took him aside in private, away from the crowd, and put his fingers into his ears, and he spat and touched his tongue. 34 Then looking up to heaven, he sighed and said to him, “Ephphatha,” that is, “Be opened.” 35 And immediately his ears were opened, his tongue was released, and he spoke plainly. 36 Then Jesus ordered them to tell no one; but the more he ordered them, the more zealously they proclaimed it. 37 They were astounded beyond measure, saying, “He has done everything well; he even makes the deaf to hear and the mute to speak.”
Only in God do I find rest;
my salvation comes from him.
2 Only God is my rock and my salvation—
my stronghold!—I won’t be shaken anymore.
3 How long will all of you attack others;
how long will you tear them down
as if they were leaning walls or broken-down fences?
4 The only desire of this people
is to bring others down low;
they delight in deception.
With their mouths they bless,
but inside they are cursing.
5 Oh, I must find rest in God only,
because my hope comes from him!
6 Only God is my rock and my salvation—
my stronghold!—I will not be shaken.
7 My deliverance and glory depend on God.
God is my strong rock.
My refuge is in God.
8 All you people: Trust in him at all times!
Pour out your hearts before him!
God is our refuge!
9 Human beings are nothing but a breath.
Human beings are nothing but lies.
They don’t even register on a scale;
taken all together they are lighter than a breath!
10 Don’t trust in violence;
don’t set false hopes in robbery.
When wealth bears fruit,
don’t set your heart on it.
11 God has spoken one thing—
make it two things—
that I myself have heard:
that strength belongs to God,
12 and faithful love comes from you, my Lord—
and that you will repay
everyone according to their deeds.
Comment: praise God for Jesus, we are no longer repaid according to our deeds!
Prayer: take all our doubts and uncertainties, O God, and fill us with your faith. Amen.