Joseph sends his brothers back to his father with lots of gifts; gifts beyond words. This is the expression of his love, love beyond words, towards his family and father. ‘…and when he saw the wagons which Joseph had sent to carry him, the spirit of Jacob their father revived: and Israel said, It is enough; Joseph my son is yet alive: I will go and see him before I die.’ Their love, we recognise it from the perspective of Divine Providence, was a gift from God. After the conversion of the brothers (fully taking responsibility for their sin of selling Joseph) and Joseph (full forgiveness), love thrives and freely flows between the parties.
What a contrast with this is the scene of Jesus’ trial and Peter’s betrayal. In the Joseph story, love, as the greatest gift among humans (and the most intense exchange), flows. Here, the very opposite of love prevails: refusal till death. It is worth seeing, that it is in this paralysing climate that Peter fails.
Yet, his weeping leaves the way open to conversion and love’s full return. ‘Do people still have a soul today’ − asks Julia Kristeva pondering our modern world of psychological inertia. The Bible puts the question in this way: ‘Do people have yet the ability to weep for their sins and failures in love, and the hurt it caused?’ It seems, we live in a dry eyed cyber world.
These are verbal Icons, expressions of how the world is seen from Saint Augustine's..