Joseph the All Good
The story of Joseph is one of diligence, strength of faith and great virtue in the face of constant hardship and betrayal. From a young age, Joseph was blessed by God with the gift of prophetic dreams. His dreams, as well as the open favouritism his father held for him, led him to be held in contempt by his brothers: to the extent that they decided to sell him as a slave to the Egyptians. Despite this drastic change of circumstance, Joseph remained dutiful to God, carrying out his work as a slave with love and diligence for many years.
When his virtue was tested by his master’s wife, he chose to remain faithful in the eyes of the Lord. In spite of this good deed, he was falsely accused and thrown into prison. Even as a prisoner however, Joseph did not despair, but continued to be a steward of God, using his prophetic gift to help others. Through a few turn of events, he was brought before Pharaoh on an occasion where he was able to warn of an impending seven years of famine, unlike what was ever been seen before. This meeting brought an end to his enslavement and a rise to power. He was placed as governor of Egypt in order to help the people survive this grave crisis. After some time, his brothers came to Egypt to seek his aid. His story comes full circle as he forgives his brothers for their wrongdoing, sharing with them his new wealth.
Joseph is commemorated on Holy Monday, the first day of Holy Week, as his life shows him as an archetype of Christ. The story of a beloved son who faces moments of betrayal, false accusations and hardship, always showing steadfastness to God’s law and ending in a show of great mercy, foreshadows elements of Christs’ own ministry. Despite the numerous ways Christ was mistreated by the very people He came to save, He continued the path of suffering so that we may all receive the wealth and mercies of His blessed Salvation.
Source: April – May 2016 Lychnos Edition