Wednesday, October 9, 2019

Gospel of Matthew: When Life Takes Unexpected Turns

The Flight into Egypt by Giotto di Bondone

Matthew 2:13-18

It's easy to think of Joseph being serene and simply floating along in his role as Mary's husband and Jesus' father. Of course, only a second's thought shows that is highly inadequate. The poor man must have been wracked with doubts otherwise God wouldn't have needed to send him dreams of direction. If he had been floating serenely then God might have sent down a congratulatory "Good show!" but no more would have been necessary. I especially like the way that George Martin points out what Matthew does and does not show us.
Joseph and his family can be looked upon as patron saints for today's political refugees. Yet Matthew does not dwell on the hardships they might have experienced. Matthew portrays Joseph as a man living an upright life that periodically takes sudden turns. Joseph is betrothed to Mary--but discovers she is pregnant, and learns from an angel that it is through the Holy Spirit. In due course her child is born—then magi arrive, quickly followed by angelic instructions to flee to Egypt. We might think of Joseph as a patron saint for those whose lives take unexpected turns as they try to remain faithful to God.

For reflection: What unexpected turns has my life taken? What can I learn from the example of Joseph?
Quote is from Bringing the Gospel of Matthew to Life. This series first ran in 2008. I'm refreshing it as I go.

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