Both St. Luke and St. Matthew give us accounts of the infancy of Jesus; but unfortunately, they are so different from one another, that we must assume that at least one of them is fiction.
In St. Luke’s account, when Jesus was forty days old, Mary and Joseph presented him at the temple; and immediately after that, they returned with him to their home in Nazareth.
In Matthew’s account, they stayed on in Bethlehem until Jesus was somewhere near two years of age, after which they brought him to Egypt for maybe five years.
What are we to do with this confusion? I say that we are just holy innocents ourselves, and we would do well to leave such problems to the scholars.
You probably have known people you value for their innocence in avoiding malice. You would do well to turn your thoughts admiringly to them, making this their feast day.
My mother’s distant cousin Frances had a husband who ran off on her, leaving her with two little girls. Frances happened to live in Holy Innocents’ parish where Father Leo MaAcatee was pastor.
I always thought of Father Leo as the St. Joseph in this story. Stretching his meager means, he put Frances and her girls into an apartment; and he helped Frances get those girls good educations.
Of course, that had people making unkind guesses about Father Leo’s relationship with Frances; but he felt that the Christ child was urging him to care for them. Happy feast day, Father Leo!