God continues to bless his people, saving them through Joseph in Egypt, again foreshadowing future events.
Today is the seventh day in our set of meditations inspired by Jesse Tree Advent Tradition.
The concept comes from a passage in Isaiah, where the prophet says, “There shall come forth a shoot from the stump of Jesse, and a branch shall grow out of his roots” (11:1). Jesse is the father of King David, and Jesus was born into that same line of David through his foster-father’s (Joseph’s) ancestry.
Each day of December we will offer a brief Scripture passage and reflection, following God’s marvelous plan of salvation in the Jesse Tree tradition.
“Come closer to me,” Joseph told his brothers. When they had done so, he said: “I am your brother Joseph, whom you sold into Egypt. But now do not be distressed, and do not be angry with yourselves for having sold me here. It was really for the sake of saving lives that God sent me here ahead of you. The famine has been in the land for two years now, and for five more years cultivation will yield no harvest. God, therefore, sent me on ahead of you to ensure for you a remnant on earth and to save your lives in an extraordinary deliverance. So it was not really you but God who had me come here; and he has made me a father to Pharaoh, lord of all his household, and ruler over the whole land of Egypt.(Genesis 45:4-8)
According to a mystical or allegorical interpretation Joseph prefigured a type of our Lord. Now if we consider the actions of Joseph, at least in part, we clearly recognize in him an obvious figure of the Lord. Joseph had a multicolored tunic; our Lord and Savior is known to have had one also, since he took the church, which was composed of various nations, like the covering of a garment. The variety of this tunic, that is, of the church that Christ took, is of a different sort; the church has different, varied graces—the martyrs, confessors, priests, ministers, virgins, widows and those who perform works of justice. This variety of the church is not one of colors but of graces; for in this variety of his church our Lord and Savior shines with a multicolored, precious garment. Joseph was sold by his brothers and procured by the Ishmaelites; our Lord and Savior was sold by the Jews and acquired by the Gentiles. Moreover, the Ishmaelites who bought Joseph carried different kinds of perfumes with them; this was to show that the Gentiles who came to believe would be fragrant throughout the world with the different odors of justice.Upon seeing Joseph, his brothers discussed his death; just as when the Jews saw the true Joseph, Christ the Lord, they all resolved with one plan to crucify him. His brothers robbed Joseph of his outside coat that was of divers colors; the Jews stripped Christ of his bodily tunic at his death on the cross. When Joseph was deprived of his tunic he was thrown into a cistern, that is, into a pit; after Christ was despoiled of human flesh, he descended into hell. Afterward Joseph is lifted up out of the cistern and is sold to the Ishmaelites, that is, to the Gentiles; when Christ returns from hell, he is bought by all nations at the price of faith. (St. Caesarius of Arles, Sermon 93,3 & 89,2)
PrayerMay our prayer of petition
rise before you, we pray, O Lord,
that, with purity unblemished,
we, your servants, may come, as we desire,
to celebrate the great mystery
of the Incarnation of your Only Begotten Son.
Who lives and reigns with you in the unity of the Holy Spirit,
one God, for ever and ever.
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