March 13, 2020

Lent with the Saints: The Patriarch Joseph

Genesis 37:3–4, 12–13a, 17b–28a; Psalm 105:16–17, 18–19, 20–21; Matthew 21:33–43, 45–46

Two biblical characters are the subject of Broadway musicals by composer Andrew Lloyd Webber, and both are featured in today’s readings. They are Joseph, the son of Israel (Jacob) in Genesis, and Jesus, the “superstar” of Matthew’s Gospel! Webber seized on the detail of Joseph’s coat (here simply a “long tunic”) as the launch point for one musical. But there’s much in the Joseph story to entertain.

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The Stone Rejected by the Builders

The ecological dream is to produce new energy by reprocessing all waste. Whatever has been thrown away or rejected is then reintegrated into the economy of life and a sense of equanimity and balance is achieved. But this is as hard to do in the inner life as at the global level. Whenever something is thrown away (waste) or labeled as useless (rejected), there is an accompanying feeling of failure, or of a missed opportunity, or of incompleteness. The deepest human instinct is for meaning, wholeness, connection and integration.

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