By Fr. Andrew Kelly
THE HOLY FAMILY OF JESUS, MARY AND JOSEPH – DECEMBER 29, 2013
The worship space and sound is still filled with Christmas so enthralled is the believing community about the mystery of God made flesh in Jesus. But in Sunday’s Gospel (Matthew 2:13-15, 19-23) Jesus’ cross quickly overshadows the festivities.
Herod wants to kill the child. The community is warned that following Jesus means opposition and outright hostility that will lead to Jesus’ cross.
But Matthew’s story of Jesus, Mary and Joseph in flight fills the community with hope. God is protecting and leading the community just as God led Jesus, Mary and Joseph. The path is dangerous and unwelcome, but God never abandons the community in its journey of following Jesus all the way to the cross.
Joseph is the community’s model. Joseph listened to and believed in God’s word as spoken through the angel in dreams. Like Joseph, the community listens to and believes in God’s word as proclaimed in the Scriptures.
Joseph responded immediately in obedient faith to whereever God was leading. So the community goes forth in obedient faith. It leaves Christmas behind and follows Jesus to the cross fearing nothing just as Joseph feared nothing — so profound was Joseph’s trust in God’s word and promise.
(First published Dec. 27, 2007)
(Father Andrew Kelly is a retired priest of the Diocese of Davenport.)
Scripture Readings for Dec. 29 to Jan. 5
Sir 3:2-6, 12-14
Col 3:12-21 or Col 3:12-17
Mt 2:13-15, 19-23
1 Jn 2:12-17
1 Jn 2:18-21
1 Jn 2:22-28
1 Jn 2:29-3:6
1 Jn 3:7-10
Eph 3:2-3a, 5-6