THE FLIGHT INTO EGYPT
1. The Order of Departure.
God avails Himself of Herod's cruelty to send a painful trial to the Holy Family. It is always thus, although we are seldom aware of it. Everything comes from the hand of God, or is, at least, allowed by God for our welfare. It is hard for us to welcome a trial or to resign ourselves to it when we do not see its ultimate purpose. Then we should recall the Holy Family. they were resting at dead of night after a hard day's toil, in their poor and comfortless house. St. Joseph had to earn the daily bread. Our Lady could not allow Herself the luxury of a maid-servant, but had to do everything by Herself. So that when night fell on that blessed home both all exhausted would drop into their beds. How well earned was that rest.
Contemplate that scene, see the greatest personalities of mankind reposing in those poor beds. Mary's sleep is an anxious one. The slightest noise would awaken Her. Although She trusts in Divine Providence, Her heart remains watchful. she cannot forget what She has heard, and even in dreams Her imagination depicts scenes of horror which have already begun, or perhaps are going to begin the following day, with the killing of the holy innocents.
She does not leave Her Child alone, the little baby sleeps in Her arms. How peacefully Jesus rests in the arms of His Mother! There is no softer cradle for Him. No better resting place can be found than in Her arms.
But all of a sudden an angel comes to disturb that rest. On God's orders he wakens up Joseph and orders Him to take the road to exile.
St. Joseph accepts the divine command but trembles at the thought of having to break the news to Mary. She, in Her turn, receives it with renewed resignation and pressing more tightly Her little Baby and imprinting one more ardent kiss on His forehead sets out to obey.
Try to imagine the sorrow and contrariety that this painful awaking must have caused Mary. However, not a word of protest; not a murmur of discontent. Indeed a fine example for us.
[Excerpted from 'MARIAN MEDITATIONS' Book by Rev. Dr. Ildefonso R. Villar, Salesian Philippine Province, Nihil Obstat; Imprimatur]