Flight into Egypt France, 17th century polychromed oakwood collection of the Musée L, Ottignies-Louvain-la-Neuve, Belgium
Joseph rose and took the child and his mother by night and departed for Egypt. Matthew 2:14
Imagine how frightened Joseph and Mary were — and how courageous — to leave their homeland in the face of danger and persecution, and to make a new life in a strange country.
My ancestors came to America from Ireland, most of them so poor they traveled in steerage. One side of the family was illiterate. On the other side, my great-great grandmother died soon after arriving in New York and so did the baby twins to whom she had just given birth. Men on both sides of the family took work as laborers and mill workers. They saved what they could from their tiny salaries, bought houses, turned their yards into vegetable gardens, and made sure their children got a good education. Today I live very comfortably, thanks to the courage of my ancestors.
May I always extend a welcome to newcomers. May I be grateful for their example of courage and their reminder of my own family story. May I remember Jesus, too, was a refugee.
May the God of endurance and encouragement grant you to think in harmony with one another. Romans 15:5a
Each of our unique human voices blends one with the next to make a holy harmony that resounds with forgiveness, reconciliation, peace, nonviolence, and joy in praise and thanksgiving to the One who created us in and for love.
They shall beat their swords into plowshares and their spears into pruning hooks; one nation shall not raise the sword against another, nor shall they train for war again. Isaiah 2:4
Today I pray that I may turn my swords and spears of impatience, indifference, envy, rudeness, self-seeking, acrimony, and resentment into life-giving love: patience, kindness, acceptance, courtesy, generosity, peace-making, and forgiveness.