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“What If . . . ?”

A Reflection on the Flight into Egypt

Voice 1: A reading of Matthew 2:13–14
When [the magi] had gone, an angel of the Lord appeared to Joseph in a dream. “Get up,” he said, “take the child and his mother and escape to Egypt. Stay there until I tell you, for Herod is going to search for the child to kill him.”

So he got up, took the child and his mother during the night and left for Egypt.

Voice 2:
What if . . . ?

What if the angel hadn’t warned Joseph in a dream that Herod was seeking to kill Jesus?

What if Joseph had ignored all the signs of the coming atrocity?

What if Joseph and Mary hadn’t loved their son so much that they were willing to leave all they knew behind for an unknown future?

What if they had been turned away when they got to Egypt because there was no room, or because the local carpenters thought Joseph might steal their business, or because they looked and sounded different?

What if we lived in Egypt then, would we have welcomed them?

What if . . . ?

What if more parents could have been warned?

What if more children could have been saved?

Voice 1: Matthew 2:18
“A voice is heard in Ramah,
      weeping and great mourning,
Rachel weeping for her children
      and refusing to be comforted,
      because they are no more.”

Voice 2:
What if . . . ?

Would we have been outraged by the cruelty towards children?

Would our weeping be mixed in with Rachel’s?

Voice 1 or 3: Matthew 25:44–45
“They also will answer, ‘Lord, when did we see you hungry or thirsty or a stranger or needing clothes or sick or in prison [or a refugee], and did not help you?’

“He will reply, ‘Truly I tell you, whatever you did not do for one of the least of these, you did not do for me.’”