Old Testament: Joseph’s brothers conspired to kill him, but because of Reuben’s intervention they only stripped him of his robe and threw him into a pit with no water.
Gospel: John gets arrested and Jesus walks away? That’s how the passage reads to me. Instead of going to visit John in jail, Jesus goes off to gather new followers. He then travels to Capernaum, where in a synagogue he performs an “exorcism” and heals a man of unclean spirits.
New Testament: Paul wrote to the Corinthians that God chose what is foolish to shame the wise; what is weak to shame the strong; and things that are not to reduce to nothing things that are.
Salvation is a theme throughout these readings, and God here challenges us because the salvation is not granted to whom or in a manner that we might expect. Joseph did not die but was still abandoned by his brothers. John stays in jail and Jesus instead saves a stranger. According to Paul, God chooses the foolish and the weak not for their own sake, but to shame the wise and the strong.
As our Lenten journey progresses, let these passages inspire questions such as: “What is Salvation?” “How does one receive it?” “Does God choose who is saved and if so, how?” “Are there times when God has saved us, but we have not realized it?” And “How can we follow God and continue through Christ a ministry of Salvation to our brothers and sisters?”