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A family dear to God’s heart

 

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Gospel: Mt 2:13-15, 19-23

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.

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The family of Jesus, Mary, and Jo­seph face great danger because of Herod’s lust for power (v 13). Warned by an angel of God, the Holy Family flee to Egypt. They stay there until the angel instructs Joseph to return to Nazareth, thereby fulfilling the ancient prophecy: “Out of Egypt I called my son” (v 15).

Mary must have had many sleepless nights, worrying about the Child’s safe­ty. For his part, Joseph, from the time he was engaged to Mary, has found himself in various crises. He nearly di­vorced Mary when he found that she was with child even before they lived together. Now he flees with his family to protect the Child. Thus, the Child Jesus narrowly escapes being killed to­gether with other children his age.

God’s providential care protects the Holy Family. God’s mighty hands en­able Mary and Joseph to cope with nu­merous trials. God’s grace strengthens them amid suffering and pain.

Christian families today are contin­ually threatened by a number of de­structive forces. But God will sustain, preserve, and conserve these families because the Father wills that love be revealed and his plans be fulfilled in them.

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SOURCE: “365 Days with the Lord 2018,” ST. PAULS Philippines, 7708 St. Paul Rd., SAV, Makati City (Phils.); Tel.: 895-9701; Fax 895-7328; E-mail: books@stpauls.ph; Website: http://www.stpauls.ph.

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