Marc Chagall: Joseph the Shepherd
Musée national message biblique Marc-Chagall,
Friday of the Second Week of Lent
Reading I: Gn 37:3-4, 12-13a, 17b-28a
They said to one another, “Here comes this dreamer. Come now, let us kill him and throw him into one of the pits; then we shall say that a wild animal has devoured him, and we shall see what will become of his dreams (NRSV, Gen 37:19-20).”
Let us pray.
Father, Jacob met you in a dream and wrestled with you only to realize more clearly who he was and who he was to be become, the father of your people. His son Joseph was a dreamer as well. His dreams turned his brothers against him at first but eventually led to their rescue from famine. There was another Joseph, much later, who also learned from you in his dreams. Others, among your servants, like Isaiah, experience you in visions.
Some of your children, like Thomas Aquinas, search for you in your creation, like examining footprints left in the sand. Artifacts always speak, if only indirectly, Lord, of the artisan. Your creation, Father, reveals to many your very existence and much about who you are.
All of life, Father, is a process of learning. One of my most precious acquisitions over the years is the realization that you actually speak directly to me, that you speak to all of your created children. It is in your very Word, he who is begotten but not created, that you speak to us. He comes to us even in the womb to summons us into existence and he never leaves us. He speaks to us of you once and for all in every moment. Even sin can not drive him from us. In midst of the worst evil that we do he is there calling us to repentance and new life. His presence to us is what makes us to be human.
How difficult, it is, Lord, to bring to consciousness what your Word speaks and what we hear with our being. All through history we struggle as your people to express it more clearly. We do it through reason, yes, but also in dreams and visions. We do it in ways proper to our different cultures and ways of living. All in the hope of bringing greater clarity to the life bestowed upon us. Help us, Lord, to grow in our understanding of the truth that you always speak to us in your Word that deeper understanding may lead us to embrace your life more fully.
Through Christ our Lord. Amen.