Tuesday, January 13, 2015

Obedience is an unparalleled virtue ( Part 1 ) - Nikiforos Theotokis

“Now when the wise men had departed, behold, an angel of the Lord appeared to Joseph in a dream, saying, ‘Arise, take the young Child and His mother, flee to Egypt, and stay there un
til I bring you word ...
And he arose, he took the young Child and His mother by night and departed for Egypt...

Now when Herod was dead, behold, an angel of the Lord appeared in a dream to Joseph in Egypt, saying, ‘Arise, take the young Child and His mother, and go to the land of Israel’... Then he arose, took the young Child and His mother, and came into the land of Israel.”(Mt. 2:13-21)

Many virtues adorned the holy soul of blessed Joseph. The unparalleled virtue of obedience, however, rose above and beyond them all, and shined brilliantly through his works. An angel appeared to him two times in a dream:

First,when Joseph was perturbed and considering to expel the Ever-Virgin Mary from his home; the second time,when he ordered Joseph to flee to Egypt. During these visions, Joseph saw and was informed of rare, extraordinary, and unheard of things.

"For that which is conceived in her,"stated the angel, "is of the Holy Spirit" (Mt. 1:20). Furthermore, he was instructed to do something that was difficult, dangerous, and painful: to flee
fearfully from his homeland into the foreign
Egyptian nation on account of the persecution of king Herod (who was seeking to slay the newborn infant), uncertain of and not knowing the future.

Any other person would not have submitted himself so easily to the will of God, and would have suspected and assumed that these visions
were merely meaningless dreams. Consequently, they would have been reluctant to carry out the orders they had received, they would have excused themselves by contending that such a task is difficult to execute, and they would neither have been convinced nor obeyed so eagerly and attentively. However, this righteous man, Joseph the Betrothed, had no doubts, he raised no objections, and he permitted no uncertainty to creep into his soul. 

On the contrary, having the treasure of obedience
safely residing within his heart, he carried out everything that the angel instructed him to do. On account of this virtue, he was deemed worthy and suitable—and chosen from amongst all other people on earth!— to serve as the guardian of the holy Virgin Mary, and as an agent of the great mystery of  Jesus Christ's incarnation. 

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