A Catholic Monthly Magazine

A Thank You Letter

by Bridget Taumoepeau

Dear Mary and Joseph,

I just wanted to write to you to thank you for setting such a good example for us when we are frightened and unsure of the future. When reading about how you had to flee to Egypt to keep Jesus safe from King Herod, it struck me that you would know all about what we have gone through recently with the pandemic.

While you had to move away, we had to stay put, even though we would have liked to have gone somewhere else. Like you, we had to think of others and what was the safest thing to do. Like us, you did not know what the future would hold, how long things would last, or when you would be able to go home. You did not know whether or not you would be able to sustain a livelihood, or where you would get food, or whether or not you would see your loved ones again. The future must have seemed very frightening and uncertain, but you had to trust what you had been told and above all to trust in God.

Maybe, in time, you heard about the children that were killed, and you grieved, just as some of us have grieved for those we have known and loved, who have died from this disease.

And then, when it seemed that the danger had passed and you got the message that you could return to your own country, it was not straightforward – some danger remained and you had to move to Nazareth, rather than stay in Bethlehem. So, things did not return to normal. Yet you trusted, listened to advice and made decisions that would be the safest for you, and especially for the child entrusted to your care.

When we are still frightened, it is good to turn to your experience, to learn how you managed the fear and difficulties facing you. To draw strength from the way you overcame what must have seemed like a disaster at the time.

Thank you for your help,

From all of us who are still a bit unsettled and unsure about what the future holds.

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