Joseph flees to Egypt with Mary and Jesus - Catholic Courier

Joseph flees to Egypt with Mary and Jesus

Joseph flees to Egypt with Mary and Jesus
Bible Accent: The Magi
Saint for Today: St. Stephen

Joseph flees to Egypt with Mary and Jesus

The Magi from the East stopped in Jerusalem to ask a question to anyone who might help them in their search. “Where is the newborn king of the Jews?” they asked. “We saw his star at its rising and have come to do him homage.”

When King Herod heard that a new king may have been born, he, too, wanted to know where this child was. He was very jealous and did not want any other kings in his land. He called his priests and scribes before him and asked them what they knew. Quoting from a prophecy in the Scriptures, they told him, “In Bethlehem of Judea, for thus it has been written … ‘from you shall come a ruler, who is to shepherd my people Israel.’”

Herod invited the Magi to come to see him. He hoped he would be able to find out more information about the age and location of the boy. Pretending to be their friend, he said to them, “Go and search diligently for the child. When you have found him, bring me word, that I too may go and do him homage.” The Magi left the king’s presence and followed the same star that had been leading them on their journey until they reached Bethlehem. There they found young Jesus. They bowed before him and presented him with gifts of gold, frankincense and myrrh.

Before they returned to their home, they were warned in a dream not to tell Herod what they had found, but to take a different route back.

After the Magi had left, an angel appeared to Joseph and said to him, “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 immediately gathered his family together and left Bethlehem under cover of the darkness and stayed in Egypt until they received news that Herod was dead. By doing so, they fulfilled another prophecy which said, “Out of Egypt I called my son.”

An angel again appeared to Joseph and told him, “Rise, take the child and his mother and go to the land of Israel, for those who sought the child’s life are dead.” Because Herod’s son was now the king of Judea, Joseph brought his family into the region of Galilee and settled in a town called Nazareth.

Matthew 2

1. How did the Magi find Jesus?
2. Where did Joseph hide until Herod was dead?

Bible Accent: The Magi

The Magi that visited the baby Jesus also have been called Wise Men or kings over the years as part of our Christmas tradition. The song “We Three Kings” is about these men, although most likely there were more than three of them, and traditions have even given them the names of Melchior, Gaspar and Balthasar. The Gospel of Matthew says the Magi came from the East. There are differences of opinions among scholars as to whether these men came from Persia, Babylon, Yemen or somewhere else. Their gifts of gold, frankincense and myrrh are believed to represent gifts appropriate for a king, and they symbolize respect (gold), prayer (frankincense) and eventual death (myrrh).

Saint for Today: St. Stephen

Stephen was a Jew who also spoke fluent Greek. Little is known about how he decided to convert to Christianity, but when the Apostles told the people to choose seven men who were of good character, Stephen was named as one of them. The Apostles prayed over these seven men, and they are considered the first deacons. Stephen was a very eloquent speaker, and people loved to listen to him preach. However, some of the religious leaders did not like what he was saying so they plotted against him. They accused him of blasphemy against Moses and against God. Stephen was sentenced to death, but before he died, he gave a moving speech and asked God to forgive his attackers. We honor the first Christian martyr on Dec. 26.

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