July 6, 2011 - Wednesday of the Fourteenth Week in Ordinary Time

Today's Readings

In the Old Testament we have the twelve sons of Jacob, who was renamed Israel. In the New Testament we have the twelve apostles of Jesus, who is the Christ. The twelve sons were the founders of the nation of Israel, the chosen people of God. The twelve apostles were the founders of the new Israel, the new chosen people of God, the Church. The sons sold one of their own, Joseph, into slavery for 20 pieces of silver. One of the apostles betrayed his teacher, Jesus, for 30 pieces of silver.

Joseph was sold because he was a tattletale and an arrogant dreamer. Jesus was sold because he was an innocent man. After being sold, Joseph suffered for a while, but eventually became second only to Pharaoh, the king of Egypt. After being sold, Jesus suffered for a while and died, but he was second to no one, the king of the universe. Though his brothers were evil for having sold Joseph into slavery, it was all part of God’s plan to save his people Israel in the midst of famine. Though Judas was evil for betraying Jesus to the Sadducees, it was all part of God’s plan to save the whole world in the midst of sin.

Joseph was responsible for enslaving all of Egypt to Pharaoh by unjustly selling the people back their own grain, which is the life of the body. Jesus was responsible for freeing the whole world from slavery to sin by unjustly having his life taken from him. When Joseph saw his brothers again, he toyed with them for years, as we hear in the reading today, before finally revealing who he really was and forgiving his brothers. Jesus forgave us in the midst of his sufferings, from the Cross itself he said, “Father, forgive them, for they know not what they do.”

So it is with the readings today; so it is with the whole Old Testament. The Old Testament is the word of God, and the New Testament is the word of God. The true meaning of the Old Testament is revealed in the New Testament by the similarities and differences. The Old Testament, beginning to end, speaks to us about Jesus Christ in a hidden way, which is why we still read the Old Testament, why we did not throw it away when we received the New Testament. They both tell us, one implicitly and one explicitly, about Jesus Christ.