After Herod died, an angel of the Lord appeared in a dream to Joseph in Egypt and said, “Get up, take the child and his mother and go to the land of Israel, for those who were trying to take the child’s life are dead.” So he got up, took the child and his mother and went to the land of Israel. But when he heard that Archelaus was reigning in Judea in place of his father Herod, he was afraid to go there. Having been warned in a dream, he withdrew to the district of Galilee, and he went and lived in a town called Nazareth. So was fulfilled what was said through the prophets: “He will be called a Nazarene.”
Matthew jumps us on a good few years for the next step on the Holy Family's journey. They had fled to Egypt but now that Herod has died they can return safely to Israel with Jesus. However they did not go to the area of Judea as they had planned; instead they returned to their home town of Nazareth.
Mary has been travelling around a large area, pushed from pillar to post for her own safety and that of her son Jesus. She must have been pleased to be returning into her home land and possibly relieved to be actually going back to Nazareth. Home has such a special feeling doesn't it; it's safe and known and nurturing. But after the several years of moving it is doubtful that Mary thought they would be in Nazareth to stay; she must have been ready for the next steps where God would lead them and keep them safe.
Prayer of the Day
Father we trust you to keep us safe but sometimes we just long to settle in our own homes, safe and secure and quiet in our lives. We rejoice that Jesus spent his formative years in his family home town and that Mary could share her community with them. Amen.