Memorial of Saint Bonaventure, Bishop and Doctor of the Church
If you were to have a closer look at the first reading, it is obvious that the remorse of Jacob’s elder brothers and their subsequent act of contrition were principally moved by fear – fear of being avenged by their brother Joseph whom they plotted to get rid of in the yesteryears. Moreover, they presumed that Joseph’s act of forgiveness was not whole-hearted but was impelled by his love for his father Jacob; and that it would last so long he lives. They misjudged Joseph’s clemency as being motivated by his desire not to grieve his aged father.
But Joseph reassures them that their fear was thoroughly misplaced and put their doubts to rest by confessing that he wills no harm upon his brothers – not because of their father Jacob but because of God Almighty; for even though they wished him harm, yet God turned it out to be a blessing for the survival of many people.
So also, Jesus wishes his disciples good, that their lives be dictated not by fear of those who kill the body, but by the One who could do away with your souls as well. He urges them to proclaim him and to bear witness to him courageously; for whoever acknowledges him to others will be acknowledged by him before God.