Gospel: Mt 2:13-15, 19-23
After the wise men had left, an angel of the Lord appeared in a dream to Joseph and said, “Get up, take the child and his mother and flee to Egypt, and stay there until I tell you, for Herod will soon be looking for the child in order to kill him.” Joseph got up, took the child and his mother, and left that night for Egypt, where he stayed until the death of Herod. In this way, what the Lord had said through the prophet was fulfilled: I called my son out of Egypt.
After Herod’s death, an angel of the Lord appeared in a dream to Joseph and said, “Get up, take the child and his mother, and go back to the land of Israel, because those who tried to kill the child are dead.” So Joseph got up, took the child and his mother, and went to the land of Israel.
But when Joseph heard that Archilaus had succeeded his father Herod as king of Judea, he was afraid to go there. Joseph was given further instructions in a dream, and went to the region of Galilee.
There he settled, in a town called Nazareth. In this way, what was said by the prophets was fulfilled: He shall be called a Nazarene.
There is a song that has remained well known in the West over 150 years (lyrics by John Paine, music by Sir Henry Bishop) and which goes like this:
Mid pleasures and palaces
though we may roam
Be it ever so humble,
there’s no place like home;
A charm from the skies
seems to hallow us there,
Which seek thro’ the world,
is ne’er met elsewhere.
Sweet, sweet home!
There’s no place like home
There’s no place like home.
Such a song evokes the serene tranquility of a family living serenely together in a peaceful dwelling.
Alas, that was not the case of the Holy Family, whom we are remembering today. To begin with, just as Mary was about to give birth, she and Joseph had to take to the road, leave Galilee and go to Bethlehem to be enrolled there following a decree of the emperor. There Mary gave birth in a stable. Shortly after that, the Holy Family had to flee to Egypt because of Herod. They stayed there, displaced persons not knowing the language, for about two years. Those are rough beginnings for any family… But they never affected the love bind of Jesus, Mary and Joseph.