TEXT: And he (Joseph) rose and took the child and His mother by night and departed to Egypt (Matthew 2:14)
Joseph wasted no time. As soon as he awoke from his dream, he got the family packed up and headed out of town, to safety-even though it meant living as refugees in Egypt.
That must have been a hard time for both Mary and Joseph. Imagine living in a strange country where you do not speak the language and have no family or friends to help you. You have a small child depending on you, so you must find a place to stay and work, so you can afford to feed and clothe everyone. No doubt the gifts of the magi helped the young family as they struggled to stay afloat in Egypt.
The toddler Jesus would not have understood His parents' struggle. Most likely He was not even aware of it until He was much older, and they could tell Him about it. But He was the one who made it all worthwhile as they loved Him and watched Him grow in safety. Like any immigrant parents, they were glad to trade their own discomfort for His better, safer life.
And by doing this, they provided a little picture of what God does for you and me. God has adopted us as His children through Baptism. He loves and watches over us as a father protects his child. And that love includes suffering for us. Jesus willingly left heaven for the hardships and suffering of life on earth. He became a human being among people who mostly did not welcome Him, or even listen. He bore suffering for our sake, always looking to our welfare, even when it meant dying for us on a cross! And He rose from the dead and shares that life with us who trust in Him so that we may become citizens of heaven.
THE PRAYER: Lord, thank You for coming to us even when it meant so much suffering, and for making us Your own people. Amen.
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