Joseph and the Flight to Egypt

Today, the Church celebrated the Solemnity of St. Joseph, patron of the universal Church. It’s partly for this reason that Pope Francis asked for the faithful in Italy and throughout the world on this day. In his address, he noted:

Tonight, we are praying together, entrusting ourselves to the intercession of St. Joseph, Guardian of the Holy Family, Guardian of all our families. Even the carpenter of Nazareth knew the precariousness and bitterness. Though he worried about the future, he knew how to walk the darkness of certain moments, always letting himself be guided by God's will without reservation.

The Scriptures tell us little about St. Joseph, but what we do know, mostly from Matthew’s gospel helps us paint a picture of a man who knew how to adapt to changing circumstances and who could act calmly and decisively in a crisis.

After Jesus’ birth, an angel instructed him to take Mary and Joseph to flee from Egypt to evade the wrath of King Herod. So he did. After some time, the angel told him it was safe for them to return to Israel. And so he brought his family back. He did this because he knew something precious was at stake: the life of the incarnate Son of God and the Mother of the Savior.

With every passing day, we’re receiving new, and increasingly urgent, instructions: where to go; where not to go; what to do; what not to do. It’s dizzying, and frankly, exhausting.

Maybe we could take as a model the obedience of St. Joseph, who did everything in his power to protect those God in his providence placed in his life.

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