“HE ROSE, TOOK THE CHILD AND HIS MOTHER, AND WENT TO THE LAND OF ISRAEL.” MT 2:13-15; 19-23
Humbly submit your will to God (Thy Will be done) and consecrate yourself to the Sacred Heart of Jesus through Mary and Joseph.
When the magi had departed, behold,
the angel of the Lord appeared to Joseph in a dream and said,
“Rise, take the child and his mother, flee to Egypt,
and stay there until I tell you.
Herod is going to search for the child to destroy him.”
Joseph rose and took the child and his mother by night
and departed for Egypt.
He stayed there until the death of Herod,
that what the Lord had said through the prophet might be fulfilled,
Out of Egypt I called my son.
When Herod had died, behold,
the angel of the Lord appeared in a dream
to Joseph in Egypt and said,
“Rise, take the child and his mother and go to the land of Israel,
for those who sought the child’s life are dead.”
He rose, took the child and his mother,
and went to the land of Israel.
But when he heard that Archelaus was ruling over Judea
in place of his father Herod,
he was afraid to go back there.
And because he had been warned in a dream,
he departed for the region of Galilee.
He went and dwelt in a town called Nazareth,
so that what had been spoken through the prophets
might be fulfilled,
He shall be called a Nazorean. MT 2:13-15; 19-23
Merry Christmas, day 5, and Happy Feast of the Holy Family of Jesus, Mary, and Joseph. Matthew says in the Scriptures that Joseph was afraid because Herod’s son had taken over, but the angel instructed him in a dream to go to Israel and live in Nazareth. Mary and Joseph had to be excited to go to a familiar place, but moving again had to be difficult. God had a plan and Joseph followed it. According to the side note written by Scripture scholars in the New American Bible, God’s plan was for Jesus to relive the experience of the Exodus of Israel.
Side Note: [2:13] Flee to Egypt: Egypt was a traditional place of refuge for those fleeing from danger in Palestine (see 1 Kgs 11:40; Jer 26:21), but the main reason why the child is to be taken to Egypt is that he may relive the Exodus experience of Israel.
Side Note: * [2:15] The fulfillment citation is taken from Hos 11:1. Israel, God’s son, was called out of Egypt at the time of the Exodus; Jesus, the Son of God, will similarly be called out of that land in a new exodus. The father-son relationship between God and the nation is set in a higher key. Here the son is not a group adopted as “son of God,” but the child who, as conceived by the holy Spirit, stands in unique relation to God. He is son of David and of Abraham, of Mary and of Joseph, but, above all, of God.
This is truly amazing! The child conceived of the holy Spirit, son of David and of Abraham, of Mary and Joseph, but, above all, of God! The fullness of time is unfolding right before our eyes. Jesus is truly human and divine. Mary and Joseph are totally committed to God and His plan. Joseph has learned of this plan in dreams, but He also never speaks anywhere in the Scriptures. He works, prays, and dedicates his life keeping Mary’s secret, the child is the Son of God. He lives the first beatitude to perfection in truly being poor in spirit. He had to become poor in every way to fulfill God’s will with Mary and raise Jesus. It’s never about him, but them.
This is a great lesson for all of us who are father’s of our homes, training to be fathers, and especially those who are priests. Fathers are to be the priest of their homes, the domestic Church. They are to lead and protect by doing God’s will and what is best for the family. This is a daily challenge. Through the vocation of marriage, it is impossible to be selfish and survive. Slowly, a man learns he needs God to step up to the challenge. In being a good father, like the heavenly Father, one learns to be more compassionate, more forgiving, more patient, and to put themselves last. If not, anger, worry, selfishness, lust, pride, and a loss of purpose can quickly creep in. They will creep in! Embrace the challenge by giving it to Jesus. Be ready to ask for forgiveness, be open to receiving God’s grace, be ready to ask God for help and invite Jesus into these difficulties. Faithfully receive the sacraments, pray unceasingly, and allow God to help you!
Christ must be the center, not just a part of the life of a family to survive and most importantly thrive to be a model of the Holy Family and the Holy Trinity for the world to see. Every society and culture depends on the family. Trouble in the home leads to trouble in the community. Mary and Joseph model for us a total and complete trust in God’s will, consecrating oneself to God and allowing Him to transform you into Christ. God’s grace and love defeated the ugliness of sin that can creep in and destroy the most important relationship their is, friendship. Marriage is between a man and a woman who become best friends working together, forgiving one another, and keeping Christ at the center.
It takes daily prayer to meet the exhaustive amount of work in daily tasks, strengthening relationships, teaching, learning from mistakes, overcoming sin, and being a rock when the storms of family life persist. Let us thank God, Jesus, the Holy Spirit, Mary and Joseph for giving us the gift of family. The sacrifice, pain, and suffering quickly become joy when given purpose. We are called to bring each other to Jesus, in the flesh, who dwells among us, guiding us with the Holy Spirit, to bring us to the Father in heaven!
Today’s challenge: In prayer, ask the Holy Family to intercede for you in whatever you may be lacking or suffering as a father, mother, or child. Never give up, the rewards are eternal! Buy a sleeping St. Joseph for your home, then ask Jesus for miracles on a notecard and put it under sleeping St. Joseph. This is where God spoke to him, in dreams, while sleeping, so we ask St. Joseph to pray for us under his sleeping statue!
Be a servant, become a saint!