MAY, THE MONTH OF MARY (MAY 23) – The Second Sorrow of our Lady: THE FLIGHT INTO EGYPT
The Magi, warned by the Angel, returned to their homeland, without passing again to Herod. The latter, angry at having been frustrated in his plan and fearing that the born Messiah would one day take away his throne, established that he would kill all the children of Bethlehem and the surrounding area, two years down, in the foolish hope of including Jesus in the massacre.
But the angel of the Lord appeared to Joseph in his sleep and said to him: Arise, take the Child and his Mother and flee to Egypt; you’ll stay there until I tell you. Joseph got up immediately, took the Child and his Mother at night and went to Egypt. In fact, it is was not long after that Herod searched for the Child to kill him.; They remained in Egypt until Herod’s death, so that what was said by the Lord through the Prophet was fulfilled: “I have called my Son from Egypt” (St. Matthew, II, 13).
In this episode of the life of Jesus we consider the sorrows felt by Our Lady. What anguish for a mother to know that her son is sought to be killed, without reason, by a strong and overbearing man! They must escape immediately, at night, in the winter season, to go to Egypt, about 400 miles distant! Embracing the inconveniences of a long journey, through the streets and through the desert! Going to live, without means, in an unknown country, ignorant of the language and without the comfort of relatives!
Our Lady did not say a word of complaint, neither against Herod nor towards Providence, which disposed everything. She would have recalled the word of Simeon: A sword will pierce your own soul!
It was providential and human that they settled down. After several years of dwelling in Egypt, Our Lady, Jesus and St. Joseph were fully settled down. But the Angel ordered them to return to Palestine. Without any excusing pretexts, Mary resumed Her journey back, adoring the designs of God.
What lesson must we learn here, we who are the devotees of Mary!
Life is a mixture of inconvenience and disappointments. Without the light of faith, discouragement may easily take the upper hand. It is necessary to view the social, family and individual events of our life, with heavenly glasses, that is, to see in all things the work of Providence, which disposes everything for the greater good of creatures. God’s designs cannot be scrutinized, but over time, if one reflects, one is convinced of the goodness of God in having allowed that cross, that humiliation, that incomprehension, in having prevented that passage and put us in some unforeseen circumstances.
In every disappointments we procure not to lose patience and trust in God and in Mary Most Holy. Let us conform our will to the will of God, humbly saying: Lord, your will be done!
In the Franciscan Chronicles, we find the story of two Franciscan friars, both great devotee of our Lady, setting off to visit a sanctuary. Full of faith, they had made a long journey and then they entered a dense forest. They hoped to be able to cross it quickly, but they were not able, because the night had fallen. Taken by dismay, they recommended themselves to God and to Our Lady; they understood that the Divine Will must have allowed that mishap.
But the Most Holy Virgin watches over Her troubled sons and comes to rescue them; those two poor Friars who were in trouble deserved to be helped.
The two lost ones, while walking, came upon a house; they realized that it was a house of a noble. They asked hospitality for the night.
The two servants, who opened the door, accompanied the Friars to the mistress. The noble matron asked: Why are you in these woods? They replied: We are on a pilgrimage to a sanctuary of our Lady; but we happened to be lost.
If that is so, you will spend the night in this palace; tomorrow, when you leave, I will give you a letter that will be useful to you both.
The following morning, after having received the letter, the Friars resumed their journey. After moving away a little distance from the house, they observed the letter and wondered at not seeing the address; in the meantime, looking around, they realized that the matron’s house was gone; it was not there anymore and there were trees in its place. When the letter was opened, they found a sheet, signed by Our Lady. It wrote: “She who hosted you is your Heavenly Mother. I wanted to reward you for your sacrifice, because you have set out on a journey for my sake. Continue to serve me and love me. I will help you in life and in death.”
After this fact, one can imagine how ardently those two friars honored Our Lady for rest of their lives.
God permitted them to be lost in the wood, so that those two could experience the goodness and maternal care of our Lady.
A Little Spiritual Flower Offering to our Lady:
– Let us curb our impatience in moments of disappointments, moderating especially to hold one’s tongue.
Prayer to Mary:
– Lord, let your Will be done!
Adapted and Translated from:
MARIA REGINA E MADRE DI MISERICORDIA (Mese di Maggio) – by DON GIUSEPPE TOMASELLI