Meditation by Fr. Dehon on the mystery of Christmas from the first volume of “The Love of the Sacred Heart.”
When the Magi had departed, the angel of the Lord appeared to Joseph in sleep and said, “Arise, and take the child and his mother, and flee into Egypt, and remain there until I tell thee. For Herod will seek the child to destroy him” (Matthew 2: 13) . Joseph arose and that very night, taking the Child and His Mother, departed.
The Heart of Jesus experiences a secret joy because He will suffer exile and carry His blessings to Egypt to pagan peoples. Joseph gathers some tools, Mary carries the swaddling clothes of Jesus and a few other items, and they leave that very -night. Into exile. It is only about six weeks since Jesus was born. The exile will last seven years.
The first smiles of Jesus sustain the courage of Mary and Joseph during this long and painful journey in the desert. The nights are very long on the bare earth. Sometimes Jesus weeps, for He wishes to be like all children. Many fears must have taken possession of Mary and Joseph. The desert is populated with wild beasts, infested with half-savage inhabitants who threatened travelers and often set a ransom upon them. Mary and Joseph see only Jesus and live only for Him. Oh, how sweet it is to suffer with eyes fixed on Jesus suffering!
“Go, my soul,” cries St. Bonaventure, “and accompany these three august souls, poor and banished. Compassionate their sufferings. Pray to the Blessed Virgin to permit you to carry her divine Son in your heart.”
L. Dehon, The love of the Sacred Heart, 56-57