Monday morning, and the wind chill is -12 degrees F. That is almost unheard of in St. Louis. Plus, it is going to be this cold all week. One of the benefits of being a retired paramedic, is that I don’t have to go outside. We need to pray especially for those people that have no home to warm themselves: the poor and indigent, the homeless, and anyone else without heat. Let’s also pray for those that work outside, especially the public safety people, EMS, fire, police, tow operators, street and water workers, etc.
Quote or Joke of the Day:
When Herod had died, behold, the angel of the Lord appeared in a dream to Joseph in Egypt and said, “Rise, take the child and his mother and go to the land of Israel, for those who sought the child’s life are dead.” He rose, took the child and his mother, and went to the land of Israel. But when he heard that Archelaus was ruling over Judea in place of his father Herod, he was afraid to go back there. And because he had been warned in a dream, he departed for the region of Galilee. He went and dwelt in a town called Nazareth, so that what had been spoken through the prophets might be fulfilled, “He shall be called a Nazorean.”
This is the third dream Joseph had received from God, through an angel. Each of these dreams started a ‘road trip’ for Joseph, Mary, and the newborn King. The first started the trip to Jerusalem, the second to flee Palestine, and this to return to Palestine after three years. The verse, “For those who sought the child’s life are dead” is also related to the exodus of Moses, who had fled from Egypt because the Pharaoh sought to kill him (Exodus 2:15), was told to return to Egypt, “for all the men who sought your life are dead” (Exodus 4:19).
Joseph knew that the regions had been split in two. With the agreement of the emperor Augustus, Archelaus received half of his father’s kingdom, including Judea, after Herod’s death. He had the title “ethnarch” (“ruler of a nation”), and reigned from 4 B.C. to A.D. 6. Joseph went to Nazareth, knowing that it was not in Archelaus’ territory, and thus no fear to Jesus.
The town of Nazareth is not mentioned in the Old Testament, and no prophecy can be found in the Old Testament. The expression “through the prophets” may be due to Matthew’s seeing a connection between Nazareth and certain texts with remotely similar words to the name of that town: Nazareth. In Isaiah 11:1, the Davidic king of the future is called “a bud” (neser) that shall blossom from the roots of Jesse; and in Judges 13:5, 7, Samson is called one who shall be consecrated (a nazir) to God.
Jesus is home, but problems for Him probably did not stop. Remember, all male children around His in Nazareth were killed. There may have been resentment and jealousy from other families. Reputations could have preceded their return. Many in the town see Mary and Joseph as ‘normal’ and definitely not a “Holy Family’ with a messianic king as their child. I wonder what it was like for them, and how did they handle the problems they encountered?
Pax et Bonum
Dan Halley, SFO
Secular Franciscan Order (SFO) Rule #4:
The rule and life of the Secular Franciscans is this: to observe the gospel of our Lord Jesus Christ by following the example of St. Francis of Assisi who made Christ the inspiration and the center of his life with God and people. Christ, the gift of the Father’s love, is the way to him, the truth into which the Holy Spirit leads us, and the life which he has come to give abundantly. Secular Franciscans should devote themselves especially to careful reading of the gospel, going from gospel to life and life to gospel.