December 29, 2013

The Gospel Today 

Feast of the Holy Family of Jesus, Mary, and Joseph

MT 2:13-15, 19-23

When the magi had departed, behold,
the angel of the Lord appeared to Joseph in a dream and said,
“Rise, take the child and his mother, flee to Egypt,
and stay there until I tell you.
Herod is going to search for the child to destroy him.”
Joseph rose and took the child and his mother by night
and departed for Egypt.
He stayed there until the death of Herod,
that what the Lord had said through the prophet might be fulfilled,
Out of Egypt I called my son.

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.

Reflection (Sem. John Paul Adia):

            Would you take the risk to continue something that you may fear of? This is the challenge that was left to me by the passage. St. Joseph, as the foster father of Jesus, knows well the threats that are waiting for the child. He might even be seeing the possibility that he and Mary are at stake to the rulers because they are the ones who are guarding the child. This idea reminded me of my fears especially with my priestly formation. These fears even lead me to grave anxieties that made me question my capacity to endure the formation.

            Before returning this semester after the break, I was thinking if I will still return. I fear so much the responsibilities that are waiting for me and I feel that I cannot handle – that I will just fail. But this is a grave part of my personal issue and that is low self-confidence. I wanted to escape from all of these realities and keep myself on my comfort zone. I was thinking that I would be more secure and live lighter if I am outside the formation. But everything seems to be a hindrance made by my personal weakness and I need to overcome it in order to grow not just in the context of the formation but also in my personal life. I cannot escape the difficulties. And whether I am inside or out of the formation, this kind of difficulty can still be experienced. This is how I admire St. Joseph. He is very courageous to face the consequences of accepting the role of a Father for our Savior. His escape is not to leave his role but to protect the child. In his very silent character is portrayed this great courage.

            I am a person who is silent especially when I am in trouble or with great difficulties. It is easier to not to express my thoughts and feeling. The courageous act of St. Joseph is an invitation for me to increase my trust to God. He will always guide the path of life and he even guards my vocation. All I need now is to give myself to His protection and will always be certain. May St. Joseph guard us also as he is our foster father in this life, Amen.

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