The Flight Into Egypt"When the Magi had departed, behold, an angel of the Lord appeared to Joseph in a dream He 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." Joseph rose and took the child and his mother by night, and departed to Egypt, and remained there until the death of Herod. Then Herod, when he saw that he had been tricked by the wise men, was in a furious rage. He sent and killed all the male children in Bethlehem and in all that region who were two years old or under. But when Herod died, behold, an angel of the Lord appeared in a dream to Joseph in Egypt. "Rise, take the child and his mother, and go to the land of Israel, for those who sought the child's life are dead." And he rose and took the child and his mother, and went to the land of Israel." Matthew 2:13-21.
When I think of this sorrow of Mary's I try to place myself into the scene. I imagine myself to be a small servant girl, employed by the Holy Family, the lowliest and least of all. Picture St. Joseph, head of the family, suddenly roused from sleep, moving quickly to wake his wife and bid her to gather their son. "We must flee now to save the Child!" Mary who is perfectly obedient, does not question her holy husband, but quickly does as he directs. No time to take much at all - no their lot is of pure trust in God's providence - surely He will provide for all our needs on such a perilous journey into the unknown. Shuffle along after this holy trio who grab what they can and rush out the door, into the darkness toward Egypt. Walk beside them in fear and trepidation for the life of this little innocent One. Feel the cold wind blow through your hair. Look up at the stars in the black sky. Feel the still warm sand on your feet....imagine the sorrow of leaving all you know, family, customs, language and faith for a place you've never been, fleeing for the life of a small baby, such a beautiful baby.
"Haste! Make haste, for the wolves are at the door!"