April 5 Lent 4
Joseph went to inform Pharaoh and said, “My father and brothers with their flocks, herds, and everything they own have come from the land of Canaan and are now in the land of Goshen.” 2 From all of his brothers, he selected five men and presented them before Pharaoh. 3 Pharaoh said to Joseph’s brothers, “What do you do?”
They said to Pharaoh, “Your servants are shepherds, both we and our ancestors.” 4 They continued, “We’ve come to the land as immigrants because the famine is so severe in the land of Canaan that there are no more pastures for your servants’ flocks. Please allow your servants to settle in the land of Goshen.”
5 Pharaoh said to Joseph, “Since your father and brothers have arrived, 6 the land of Egypt is available to you. Settle your father and brothers in the land’s best location. Let them live in the land of Goshen. And if you know capable men among them, put them in charge of my own livestock.”
7 Joseph brought his father Jacob and gave him an audience with Pharaoh. Jacob blessed Pharaoh, 8 and Pharaoh said to Jacob, “How old are you?”
9 Jacob said to Pharaoh, “I’ve been a traveler for 130 years. My years have been few and difficult. They don’t come close to the years my ancestors lived during their travels.” 10 Jacob blessed Pharaoh and left Pharaoh’s presence. 11 Joseph settled his father and brothers and gave them property in the land of Egypt, in the best location in the land of Rameses, just as Pharaoh had ordered. 12 Joseph provided food for his father, his brothers, and his father’s entire household, in proportion to the number of children.
38 “Teacher,” said John, “we saw someone driving out demons in your name and we told him to stop, because he was not one of us.”
39 “Do not stop him,” Jesus said. “For no one who does a miracle in my name can in the next moment say anything bad about me, 40 for whoever is not against us is for us. 41 Truly I tell you, anyone who gives you a cup of water in my name because you belong to the Messiah will certainly not lose their reward.
42 “If anyone causes one of these little ones—those who believe in me—to stumble, it would be better for them if a large millstone were hung around their neck and they were thrown into the sea. 43 If your hand causes you to stumble, cut it off. It is better for you to enter life maimed than with two hands to go into hell, where the fire never goes out.  45 And if your foot causes you to stumble, cut it off. It is better for you to enter life crippled than to have two feet and be thrown into hell.  47 And if your eye causes you to stumble, pluck it out. It is better for you to enter the kingdom of God with one eye than to have two eyes and be thrown into hell, 48 where
“‘the worms that eat them do not die,
and the fire is not quenched.’
49 Everyone will be salted with fire. 50 “Salt is good, but if it loses its saltiness, how can you make it salty again? Have salt among yourselves, and be at peace with each other.”
Comment: Jesus audience had no way of knowing that one day soon Jesus would pave the way so that the words of confession would remove the sting of punishment and the advocate, the Holy Spirit of God would be our daily companion.
Save me, God,
because the waters have reached my neck!
2 I have sunk into deep mud.
My feet can’t touch the bottom!
I have entered deep water;
the flood has swept me up.
3 I am tired of crying.
My throat is hoarse.
My eyes are exhausted with waiting for my God.
4 More numerous than the hairs on my head
are those who hate me for no reason.
My treacherous enemies,
those who would destroy me, are countless.
Must I now give back
what I didn’t steal in the first place?
5 God, you know my foolishness;
my wrongdoings aren’t hidden from you.
6 Lord God of heavenly forces!—
don’t let those who hope in you
be put to shame because of me.
God of Israel!—
don’t let those who seek you
be disgraced because of me.
7 I am insulted because of you.
Shame covers my face.
8 I have become a stranger to my own brothers,
an immigrant to my mother’s children.
9 Because passion for your house has consumed me,
the insults of those who insult you have fallen on me!
10 I wept while I fasted—
even for that I was insulted.
11 When I wore funeral clothes,
people made fun of me.
12 Those who sit at the city gate muttered things about me;
drunkards made up rude songs.
Comment: are there times when the psalmist’s words echo your own thoughts?
Prayer: God of love, you have given your life to us so may we live according to your will and ways. Amen.