Liturgical Colour : Green
Genesis 41 : 55-57 and Genesis 42 : 5-7a, 17-24a
When the land of Egypt began to suffer from the famine, the people came to Pharaoh for bread. But Pharaoh told all the Egyptians, “Go to Joseph and do as he tells you.” When the famine had spread throughout the land, Joseph opened all the storehouses and sold grain to the Egyptians for the famine was indeed severe over the land.
As the famine had worsened throughout the whole world, people came from other countries to buy grain from Joseph. So the sons of Israel were among those going to buy grain, for there was famine in Canaan. It was Joseph, as governor of the land, who sold the grain to all the people. When his brothers arrived they bowed before him, with their faces to the ground.
Joseph recognised his brothers but did not make himself known and so he put them in prison for three days. On the third day Joseph said to them, “I will help you save yourselves, for I am a man who fears God. If you are sincere, let one of your brothers remain prisoner in the house of the guard where you now are, and the rest of you take the grain to save your families from famine. Then you will bring back your youngest brother; so the truth of what you say will be proved and your lives spared.”
They did as they were ordered and said among themselves, “Alas! We are guilty because of the way we treated our brother when he pleaded with us for mercy, but we did not listen. That is why this trouble has come upon us.” Reuben answered them, “Did I tell you not to sin against the boy. But you did not listen and now we are brought to account for his blood.”
Now they did not know that Joseph understood them as there was an interpreter between them. As for Joseph, he withdrew and wept.