In the last two months we have reflected on how St Joseph, upon arriving in Betlehem, looked for accommodation but could not find a room in a hotel. Consequently, Our Lady gave birth to Jesus in a stable, as we read in the Gospel according to Luke (2:6-7). We also know, however, that this was not St Joseph’s only problem in Betlehem!
Herod wanted to kill Jesus, and when St Joseph was warned once again in a dream to protect the child, he rose in the middle of the night to prepare the flight into Egypt, as we read in the Gospel according to Matthew (2:13-14). St Joseph, Our Lady and Jesus had to flee their country for no other reason than the rulers’ envy and fear of losing power.
St Joseph, Our Lady and Jesus were thus immigrants in a foreign country, just like those people who are forced to flee their homes because of war and persecution. It is easy to read the stories of the Holy Family and of the modern-day immigrants with the impression the world is at the mercy of the strong and mighty.
The “good news” of the Gospel, however consists in showing that, for all the arrogance and violence of worldly powers, God always finds a way to carry out his saving plan. If at times God seems not to help us, surely this does not mean that we have been abandoned, but instead are being trusted – like St Joseph – to plan, to be creative, and to find solutions ourselves.
St Joseph was able to find the stable in which Jesus was born and was ready to take Our Lady and baby Jesus to Egypt because he trusted in God and he was willing to respond, with creativity and courage, to God’s own plans. God always finds a way to save us, provided we show the same creative courage as St Joseph, who was thus able to turn a problem into a possibility.
When going through tough times, we should look at St Joseph so as to learn from his example: to trust in God, and to collaborate with God by being creative and courageous!