One Minute Reflection – 29 December – Feast of the Holy Family of Jesus, Mary and Joseph and the Fifth Day of the Christmas Octave, Readings: Sirach 3:2-6, 12-14, Psalm 128:1-5, Colossians 3:12-21, Matthew 2:13-15, 19-23
Joseph rose and took the child and his mother by night and departed for Egypt. … Matthew 2:14
REFLECTION – “An angel appeared in a dream to Joseph and warned him that Herod was seeking the Child Jesus’ life: “Get up,” he said, “take the child and his mother and flee to Egypt”. Jesus had hardly been born before he was being persecuted to the death. (…) Joseph obeyed the angel’s voice without delay and warned his holy wife. He took such poor tools as he could carry so that he might have the wherewithal to carry on his work in Egypt and have something with which to maintain his little family. Mary, for her part, gathered together in a bundle the necessary linen for her divine son, then, going to the cradle where He was lying, she went down on her knees, kissed the feet of her beloved child and, weeping tears of tenderness, said to Him: “Oh my son and my God, You have come into the world to save humankind yet You have scarcely been born and they seek to kill You!” Then she took Him in her arms and, as they wept, the holy couple shut the door and set out through the night. (…)
Beloved Jesus, You are the king of heaven and now I see You in the likeness of a child, wandering in exile. Tell me, who are You looking for? I am moved with compassion when I see Your poverty and humiliation. But what distresses me, even more deeply, is the complete ingratitude with which I see You being treated by the very ones You came to save. You weep and I weep too for being one of those who have despised and persecuted You. Yet know, that I would now prefer Your grace to all the kingdoms of the world.
Forgive me all the harm I have caused You. On the journey of this life to eternity, let me carry You in my heart, following Mary’s example, who bore You in her arms during the flight to Egypt. Beloved Redeemer, I have often cast You out of my soul but now, I trust You have repossessed it. I beseech You, bind it closely to Yourself with the sweet bonds of Your love.” … St Alphonsus Maria de Liguori (1696-1787) Bishop and Doctor of the Church – Meditations for the Octave of the Epiphany, no. 3
PRAYER – O Most merciful Infant Jesus, I give You thanks for all that You suffered for me. O my sweetest Love, I am sorry that I have offended You. I desire to be always faithful in Your service. Fill my heart with Your love. O Mary, grant that I may belong entirely to you and your Son, Jesus. Amen – St Alphonsus Maria de Liguori (1696-1787)