How do you react to this description of the Saviour of the world, the Son of God, the Bread of Life, the King of Kings? When we are told that he was born in a stable or cave; his homeland was occupied by a foreign army; he fled for his life to Egypt; many innocent children died in Bethlehem (“House of Bread”) in Herod’s attempt to find and kill him—the one called a future king and, therefore, a perceived menace to Herod; and he was denied a return to Judea because of the obvious threat from Archelaus, son of Herod. This is hardly a royal beginning for the King of Kings!
Yet all of these experiences of the Holy Family were fulfilments of what God had revealed through his prophets. We find many parallels in the Old Testament to the beginnings of Jesus’ life, as well as his adult life—parallels that
function as signs or “types” pointing to Jesus, Mary and Joseph. Jesus is repeating and experiencing the history and life of his people in exile, times of pain and discomfort. Through it all the Holy Family listens and responds to the
word of God.
Jesus is presented to us in Matthew’s gospel as being totally united to his prehistory. The Holy Family started their journey together in crisis, and they persisted in their total dependence upon God’s providence. They become a model
for us to imitate. Our prayer should be to ask for the grace of persistance in all of our struggles, recognising that the Holy Family experienced greater challenges and understands our turmoil. Surely their advice would be this: seek
the Lord in his word in Holy Scripture; cling to that word; and trust in the Lord to strengthen you with love in all of your family difficulties.
KNOW YOUR CATECHISM!
As we follow Jesus, we will always experience opposition from the world’s darkness to the light of Christ. During his entire life Jesus lived under the sign of persecution (CCC 530). CCC 2013-2015 reminds us all that the title “Holy” Family is a reminder to us that all Christians are called to holiness, which passes through the way of the cross (our spiritual warfare).