Sunday, December 30, 2007

In Flight

Yesterday, here at the NCSC conference, I attended a workshop about Catholic social teaching on immigration issues and care for refugees.

The session was led by Marie Dennis, a laywoman and mother of six who directs the Maryknoll Office of Global Concerns and is the new co-president of Pax Christi International. She's a Pittsburgh native, too.

The topic was especially appropriate considering that today is the Feast of the Holy Family with the Gospel at Mass that shows Joseph, Mary and the baby Jesus in flight by night to Egypt to escape the wrath of Herod.

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.

The image above shows an oil on canvas entitled "The Flight into Egypt." It is credited to James Lesesne Wells.

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