We do not know how long the Holy Family was in Egypt waiting for further instructions from God. It could have been a year, but it could have just as easily been 10 years of not knowing how or when their circumstances might change. Regardless of the length of time, trusting in God’s will, they waited patiently and peacefully. Because Egypt was unfamiliar territory to them, their time spent there could be considered a time of tribulation for the family. They would have had to find a home, learn how to communicate, and figure out how to fit into the new culture. They would have had to miss their family and friends back home and find new people with whom to connect. Joseph would have had to find work in order to provide for the basic needs of his family. Working through these different problems would have brought challenges, but the Holy Family persevered with the faith that God would provide for their every need and reveal solutions as problems arose. Most certainly, the majority of us have had to endure various tribulations of our own without knowing how long each would last. However, reflecting on those times, can you see how God provided you with everything you needed at the time to endure each of them?READ MORE
The second dream of Joseph can be found in Matthew 2:13-15: When they [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 said through the prophet might be fulfilled, “Out of Egypt I called my son.”READ MORE
Since this year is has been declared the year of St. Joseph by Pope Francis, we will have a four week series reflecting on the four dreams of St. Joseph.
Joseph’s first dream is recorded in Mathew 1:18-24:
Now this is how the birth of Jesus Christ came about. When his mother Mary was betrothed to Joseph, but before they lived together, she was found with child through the Holy Spirit. Joseph her husband, since he was a righteous man, yet unwilling to expose her to shame, decided to divorce her quietly. Such was his intention when, behold, the angel of the Lord appeared to him in a dream and said, “Joseph, son of David, do not be afraid to take Mary your wife into your home. For it is through the Holy Spirit that this child has been conceived in her. She will bear a son and you are to name him Jesus, because he will save his people from their sins.” All this took place to fulfill what the Lord had said through the prophet: “Behold, the virgin shall be with child and bear a son, and they shall name him Emmanuel,” which means “God is with us.” When Joseph awoke, he did as the angel of the Lord had commanded him and took his wife into his home.
This weekend we celebrate Divine Mercy Sunday, which is devoted to an emphasis on the infinite mercy we continually receive from our loving Father in Heaven. As fallen humans, we have so much need for this divine mercy. Fortunately for us,the font from which it flows is bottomless. However, it is not enough for Jesus to simply pour His mercy over us. We must respond to that mercy with gratitude and a willingness to amend our lives of sin and grow in virtue. The gift is empty and meaningless if we do not use it as it is intended to be used.READ MORE
Alleluia! Alleluia! Lent has come to an end and we have arrived, at last, on the holiest and most joyful holiday in our Catholic Church – Easter!
What is the significance of the Resurrection of Jesus Christ to us in the here and now? When Adam and Eve were created, God did not intend suffering and death for them, or the generations of humanity that were to follow. It was the original sin of disobedience that brought about the consequences of sin, suffering, and death that we experience in our own lives today. Jesus’ resurrection is a physical sign to us that He came to conquer the death that was brought about by sin. He rose to life so that we might experience new life in Him. Mary is the new Eve – while Eve disobeyed God, Mary obeyed to bring about the one who would undo the damage. Similarly, Jesus is the new Adam – the one to restore life.READ MORE
As we enter into this final week of Lent, we will take a look at the sixth and seventh sorrows of Mary, which go hand in hand. Mary’s sixth sorrow was when Jesus was pierced in the side with a spear and then placed in her arms. The seventh sorrow is the burial of her precious Son in His tomb.READ MORE
This week we will reflect on the Fifth Sorrow of Mary, which is The Crucifixion and Death of Her Son, Jesus. “But standing by the cross of Jesus were his mother and his mother’s sister, Mary the wife of Clopas, and Mary Magdalene” (John 19:25).
The death of a child must be the worst suffering any parent could ever experience in any circumstance. For Mary, the pain must have been unimaginable. She not only witnessed her Son die, but she witnessed the horror of the manner of His death. She knew deeply and intimately of His perfection and innocence. She saw Him humiliated and His dignity destroyed as the soldiers stripped Him naked and cast lots for His clothing. She saw the wounds and pain from the beating He had taken earlier. She saw the crown of thrones pressing into head and she saw the sign above Him that read, “Jesus of Nazareth, the King of the Jews” (John 19:19). While Jesus was suffering in His physical body, Mary was suffering right along with Him in the deepest depths of her soul.READ MORE
This week, we start to get into the heaviest and deepest sorrows of Mary’s life, beginning with her fourth sorrow: Meeting Jesus on the Road to Calvary. Take a moment to recall Mary’s first two sorrows – the prophecy of Simeon and the flight into Egypt. Call to mind the joy she was probably experiencing at those two times, basking in the glow of being a new wife and a new mother. She was very likely experiencing strongly positive and happy feelings right before those first two blows were delivered. With her fourth sorrow, we have a similar situation, but with perhaps a bit more intensity.READ MORE
The Third Sorrow of Mary is the Loss of the Child Jesus in the Temple, which we find in Luke:
...supposing him to be in the group, they went a day’s journey, but then they began to search for him among their relatives and acquaintances, and when they did not find him, they returned to Jerusalem, searching for him. After three days they found him in the temple, siƫng among the teachers, listening to them and asking them questions. (Luke 2:44-46)READ MORE