The Gospel message of Christmas is one of peace, joy, glory, and love. And yet today, on the Feast of the Holy Family, we are faced with the reality of the world into which our Lord Jesus Christ is born, a world of danger, treachery, and terror. In the lectionary for today, the Gospel for today skips over an important piece that is difficult to hear: When Herod realized that he had been deceived by the magi, he became furious. He ordered the massacre of all the boys in Bethlehem and its vicinity two years old and under.
That's why the Holy Family fled. An angry tyrant was on the loose. And so we are faced with fear, sobbing, and pain so soon after the joy, peace, and love that is Christmas. That can be difficult to bear. How can life be so beautiful and so awful at the same time? And yet often enough that is the way things are for us. Thank God Jesus has two devoted, loving parents in Joseph and Mary! Both of them sacrifice everything to ensure his safety. They give of themselves completely. Mary is willing to have her life turned upside down, and Joseph is willing to listen to his dreams. Both of them decide to protect and keep safe what has been entrusted to them. Both of them make the decision to put their faith in God, who is asking a lot, and to put themselves in last place. According to Matthew, ...Read More