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Thursday, July 12, 2001

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Genesis 44:18-21, 23-29; 45:1-5
Psalm 105:16-21
Matthew 10:7-15

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making your enemies look good

"Come closer to me." —Genesis 45:4

Think of those who have treated you the worst. Think of those who have physically or verbally abused you. Think of those who have talked behind your back, cheated on you, or abandoned you. Would you accept God's grace to forgive your enemies as Joseph forgave his brothers who sold him into slavery?

Joseph said to his brothers: "Do not be distressed" (Gn 45:5). What if your enemies were distressed, suffering, and punished! You may be tempted to even rejoice in their sufferings. But Joseph told his brothers: "Do not reproach yourselves" (Gn 45:5). You may not feel too disappointed if your enemies felt guilty and hated themselves. But Joseph dismissed the evils of his brothers and said to them: "It was really for the sake of saving lives that God sent me here ahead of you" (Gn 45:5).

Joseph could have also unmasked his brothers' lie to their father about Joseph's possible death from wild beasts. We have no record of his doing that. Joseph probably resisted the temptation to expose his brothers' deceitfulness. What if you knew something very incriminating about one of your enemies! Would you keep it to yourself?

Joseph prefigures Christians. In Christ, we can forgive, be merciful, and love our enemies. Be like Joseph and Jesus.

Prayer:  Father, may I make my enemies look as good as possible.

Promise:  "Cure the sick, raise the dead, heal the leprous, expel demons." —Mt 10:8

Praise:  When John was falsely accused of a crime, he did not get upset or angry; he trusted in the Truth.

Nihil Obstat:  Reverend Robert L. Hagedorn, January 4, 2001

Imprimatur:  †Most Reverend Carl K. Moeddel, Vicar General and Auxiliary Bishop of the Archdiocese of Cincinnati, January 24, 2001