1st Sunday of Tubah – The Escape to Egypt

"Behold an angel of the Lord appeared to Joseph in a dream, saying, ‘Arise, take the young Child and His mother, flee to Egypt’." (Matt. 2:13) The Lord’s journey to Egypt is full of mysteries. There are a lot of questions that come to mind, for example: Why did He flee, particularly to Egypt? Egypt was not the closest country to Juda. But Syria, Jordan, Iraq, Arabian dessert and Lebanon are closer. Also the road to Egypt was not the easiest. On the contrary, it was a dangerous road and it is easy to get lost on the road to Egypt. It was also a road full of hardship for the holy family. So the journey was difficult and very harsh. But despite all of this, and though the angel appeared to Joseph to tell him to go to Egypt, this arrangement was a matter previously prepared by the Lord over the ages; it was previously mentioned by the prophet. Hosea the prophet said, "Out of Egypt I called My Son." (Hos. 11:1), and Isaiah cried out saying, "Behold, the Lord rides on a swift cloud, and will come into Egypt." (Is. 19:1). Therefore, the Lord intended to come to Egypt and not by mere chance or by force. He has an altar in Egypt that needs to be built. He has in Egypt a pillar of witness to be established. He has in Egypt a church, a witness and worship uttered by the spiritual Canaan. He has to deliver to Egypt a blessing, as the Lord of Hosts says, "Blessed is Egypt My people." (Is. 19:25).

Within Egypt

Out Lord traveled through the North and South of Egypt. He moved through a lot of towns and villages. Though His journey was to flee, He still traveled through different towns in Egypt, rather than just hiding in one place. By doing this He intended to visit a lot of places. These places later became spiritual centers, which nourished the whole world. Examples of these places are the Kaskam Mountain and the Natroun Valley. P It is the secret of existence of the Coptic Church up to day. P The secret of the existence of the Coptic Church despite of the persecutions. This is a very peculiar and special thing.

We believe that the Lord chose Egypt to place a burden on it for the salvation of the whole world. In the Old Testament, because of Joseph the son of Jacob, Egypt became the savior from hunger, and all nations nourished from it. Hence, Egypt will be, because of Jesus, a reason of salvation for the recent world, from the hunger of souls and the death of belief.

He who kept Joseph in Egypt to save the 12 tribes of Israel over the ages and filled them with the wheat of Egypt. Now the Egyptian wheat became your body on the altar. The storages became their inheritance in the church sacraments. O Lord blesses the fullness in Your body from the wheat grain to the entire world. Such that the whole world will be spiritually sufficient by Egypt and by the Egyptian belief. Amen.

He left for us an example

With His flight from Herod, He established for us the start of the victorious road. That is why Herod the king looked weak and defeated before the Child, Jesus. Herod was shocked, and afraid. He lost his mind and went out on a rage and killed the children. All of this because he was defeated and he was afraid. The flight from the face of evil is the way of humbleness. This is the path which our Lord has walked in and showed us the simple victory over sin.

Flee from adultery

The easiest way to be victorious over the devil of pleasure is to flee from that lust, to flee from the place of evil, the thought of evil, the friends of evil and the planning of evil, like Joseph the pious did.

He who flees from the love of money, defeats the world. Saint Augustus proclaimed saying, I placed my foot on top of this world when I desired nothing.

The flee from evil is not fear, for Jesus did not flee from the face of Herod for fearing death, but because the objective of the incarnation is the cross, and our Lord Jesus said, "For this cause I have come." (John 18:37). But when Jesus fled, He placed for us the principle of not resisting evil.

Therefore the spirit of Herod is a spirit of shedding blood and killing people. This could not be defeated except with the Spirit of Jesus. The Spirit of Life, the Spirit of Peace and the Spirit of Meekness. The holy martyrs are those that faced the spirit of Herod in persecution. Those are the ones who were saved by the Spirit of Jesus, the Spirit of calm and meek. They defeated Herod’s spirit by the blood of the Lamb. With this word Martyrdom, they didn’t defeat the insult with an insult, nor the sword with a sword, but they were victorious with meekness and the Spirit of Jesus. He was the One who when insulted did not receive it in vain. That is how David the prophet was, when he fled from the face of evil, wherever it was He fled from Saul the king, and from Absalom his son.

The devil always tries to delay God’s path, and block the work of salvation. The devil did not stop trying to spoil the path, even from the beginning of the incarnation of Jesus. But our blessed Lord didn’t leave a chance for the devil to complete his deeds. So He fled from the face of evil and spoiled the devil’s plans, which he desires for the sons of God. As an example, when David fled from Absalom, he spoiled the counsel of Ahithophel. So the devil filled Ahithophel’s heart with rage and he hanged himself.

He entered to rule over Egypt

It was announced that Jesus is the King, since His first instant when He entered the world. The wise men came asking where is He who has been born King of the Jews? Herod is seeking to kill Him knowing that He is a King. But the kingdom of Jesus is not of this world, it is a heavenly kingdom. So Jesus becomes King and all men are His subjects. That is how Jesus came to Egypt, a humble King, riding on a donkey as His custom and His humbleness. He entered to take for Himself a kingdom and acquire for Himself subjects. Since then, the kingdom of Jesus in Egypt is being resisted fiercely and harshly. But in every generation the devil return defeated before the kingdom of Jesus in Egypt. Egypt is the Church that the Lord has placed its foundation on the rocks of ages and promised it saying, "And the gates of hell shall not prevail against it." (Matt. 16:18).

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