December 7. Joseph. Read from Genesis 37-45. The story of Joseph tells how the Israelites came to be in Egypt. Being Jacob’s favourite and spoiled son, having been given his famous coat of many colours, he also had a gift for interpreting dreams. His brothers were jealous and schemed to kill him, but eventually only threw him into a pit, from where he was rescued by passing travellers and taken to Egypt. He prospered there, although he did end up in jail for a time, falsely accused of rape by Pharaoh’s wife who attempted to seduce him. It was his gift for interpreting dreams that attracted Pharaoh’s attention and his skills led him to becoming Pharaoh’s right hand man. When there was a famine in Israel the brothers came to Egypt for help. Joseph recognised them but they did not recognise him. After testing them he expressed his forgiveness for how they had treated him.

Pope Francis:  Children need help in the process of inner healing and in this way grow in the ability to understand and live in peace with others. AL195. Points for reflection and discussion. From being a spoilt child Joseph’s good qualities of leadership emerged. A central message is Joseph’s willingness to forgive. Would one expect such things from spoilt children? Belief in and interpretation of dreams is still an area regarded in different ways today.