After the wise men had left, the angel of the Lord appeared to Joseph in a dream and said, ‘Get up, take the child and his mother with you, and escape into Egypt, and stay there until I tell you, because Herod intends to search for the child and do away with him.’ So Joseph got up and, taking the child and his mother with him, left that night for Egypt, where he stayed until Herod was dead. This was to fulfil what the Lord had spoken through the prophet:
I called my son out of Egypt.
Herod was furious when he realised that he had been outwitted by the wise men, and in Bethlehem and its surrounding district he had all the male children killed who were two years old or under, reckoning by the date he had been careful to ask the wise men. It was then that the words spoken through the prophet Jeremiah were fulfilled:
A voice was heard in Ramah,
sobbing and loudly lamenting:
it was Rachel weeping for her children,
refusing to be comforted because they were no more.
In the days after a birth - a new reality begins to emerge. The realisation that even if you have planned with military precision how this child will fit into your life - you have already been thwarted. Life changes life - Love changes it more.
Love has no desire to live in isolation. Love holds your hand if you invite Her or stands watchful in the shadows if you don't. Love is Love.
The Octave of Christmas teaches us so much about Love - the humility of God's Love; the courage of Mary and Joseph's; the persistence of the Shepherds and the conviction of the Magi.
On his day Stephen taught us that Love is for others; yesterday John told us that there is nothing else.
Today we learn that Love is feared by Power and that, in fear, Power will try to defeat it.
Many years from now Jesus will stand in chains in front of Pontius Pilate and tell him that he has no Power over him.
And for that Jesus will die
But Love will live.