Saturday, January 13, 2007

Our Lady's Second Sorrow

Flight Into Egypt
(Sources: Devotion to the Sorrowful Mother by
TAN Books available for purchase here,)
Now when they had departed, behold, an angel of the Lord appeared to Joseph in a dream and said, "Rise, take the child and his mother, and flee to Egypt, and remain there till I tell you; for Herod is about to search for the child, to destroy him." And he rose and took the child and his mother by night, and departed to Egypt, and remained there until the death of Herod. This was to fulfil what the Lord had spoken by the prophet, "Out of Egypt have I called my son." Mt 2: 13-15.
To avoid the muderous intentions of King Herod, St. Joseph fled with his wife Mary, Our Lady, and his foster-Child, Our Lord, and lived as refugees in Egypt. Our Lord, Who was born poor, without any of the royal prerogatives due his kingly dignity, lived as a refugee. There was no lodging at the inn in Bethlehem for the Holy Family. But a home was found for them in Egypt, by the resourceful St. Joseph. Egypt the nation where the Hebrew people had languished for many generations in cruel slavery to the Egyptians before being led out by a prefigurement of Jesus; Moses, who parted waters of the Red Sea to their forty years' desert journey prior to entering into the Promised Land of Canaan. Our Lady was thus forced to make a temporary home for her Child and her husband as they fled for their lives.

The sorrow of not being able to return to Nazareth due to the homicidal plot King Herod had on her infant Son was excruciating for Our Lady. Let us not forget to meditate on the silent, selfless sacrifices made by St. Joseph as he quickly heeded St. Gabriel's warnings, fleeing his own place of business to guard the lives of his family! Joseph, as head of the household was given the task to defend and safeguard his chaste spouse and his foster-Child? Are we willing to be so completely detached from our desires and comforts that we can flee at a moment's notice from our own homes if this were necessary? Are we, in other words, willing to do what the Holy Family did? Do we truly understand that we have no permanent home here in this life and that we must seek out first the Kingdom of Heaven, of which Holy Mass is a foretaste?
I grieve for thee, O Mary most sorrowful, in the anguish of thy
most affectionate heart during the flight into Egypt
and they sojourn there. Dear Mother, by thy heart so troubled,
obtain for me the virtue of generosity,
especially toward the poor, and the gift of piety.
Hail Mary...

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