by His Holiness Moran Mor Ignatius Zakka I Iwas
Mary Raises her Son Jesus
So many events took place after Jesus' birth during which we beheld the Virgin Mary, the Mother of God, bringing up her son according to God's law, in fulfillment of the Lord's will. Jesus increased in wisdom and stature and in favor with God, and man.
He was circumcised on the eighth day of his birth. And forty days after his birth He was presented in the temple and Mary accomplished her days of purification according to the Law of Moses (Luke 2-22:39). Simon took him up in his arms saying to Mary, his mother " yea, a sword shall pierce through thy own soul". This prophecy was fulfilled to the letter during the life of Mary, the grieved mother.
The Magi came and visited the newly born child, they fell down, worshiped him and they presented unto him gold, and frankincense and myrrh. The vicious intentions of Herod, who wanted to kill the child, were unveiled.
The Flight into Egypt
The angel of the Lord ordered Joseph to take the young child and his mother and flee into Egypt.
One of the interesting narratives related about the Virgin while fleeing with her child into Egypt with Joseph the righteous, was that they went past a peasant who was sowing, and the virgin blessed the land, and the plants grew taller. After their departure a squad of Herod's soldiers arrived aiming at arresting them, but they could not find them and when the soldiers inquired of the peasant whether a man and a woman with a child, had passed by, the peasant answered yes, they did. When the soldiers asked him when was that? The peasant answered: that was on the day I was sowing seeds. When the soldiers saw the crops had grown to a full height they thought the family had gone past the place a few months earlier so they were disappointed and relinquished their pursuit.
It is also reported that before entering into Egypt the Holy family was attacked by thieves who tried to assault the Virgin, her son and Joseph and rob them. The chief of the gang prevented them; God, therefore, rewarded him by allowing him to be crucified to the right of the redeemer and in repentance have faith in him. He became worthy of hearing the Lord's promise to him "verily I say unto thee, today shalt thou be with me in paradise".
Some fathers report that Egyptian idols fell whenever child Jesus' procession went by their temples. The Lord entered into Egypt, lifted the curse under which Egypt was; and thus the Lord's words " blessed be my people in Egypt" were fulfilled.
Residence in Nazereth
When Herod was dead one year after the Virgin Mary's flight with her son to Egypt, the angel appeared to Joseph in a dream, and ordered him to go back to Palestine. Joseph returned to Nazareth so that the prophecy " I called my son out of Egypt" (Hos. 11:1) be fulfilled and the Holy family took residence in Nazareth.
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