Sunday, January 4, 2009

Two Josephs

The Josephs of the Old and the New Testaments.
Envy is the reason St. Joseph has to lead the Holy Family to Egypt because — as he is warned in a dream — the Christ Child is the target of the murderous intentions of Herod. Divine Providence saw to the funds for the journey in the form of the Wise Man’s offering of gold. St. Matthew connects the Holy Family’s journey in Egypt to the 400 years (between Joseph and Moses) that Israel was in Egypt: “And he rose and took the child and his mother by night, and departed to Egypt, and remained there until the death of Herod. This was to fulfill what the Lord had spoken by the prophet, ‘Out of Egypt have I called my son’” — Matt 2:14, 15 (compare Hos 11:1; Ex 4:22).

Two thousand years earlier in Egypt, Joseph had preserved grain and saved the fledgling nation of Israel from starvation. In Egypt, St. Joseph protected the nascent Church in the person of Mary, along with the Living Bread that would feed it, in the person of the Christ Child.


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