The reading for today is Matthew 2:13-18, NIV.
The Escape to Egypt
13 When they 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.”
14 So he got up, took the child and his mother during the night and left for Egypt, 15 where he stayed until the death of Herod. And so was fulfilled what the Lord had said through the prophet: “Out of Egypt I called my son.”
16 When Herod realized that he had been outwitted by the Magi, he was furious, and he gave orders to kill all the boys in Bethlehem and its vicinity who were two years old and under, in accordance with the time he had learned from the Magi. 17 Then what was said through the prophet Jeremiah was fulfilled:
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.”
What difficult news the angel brings: Joseph and his tiny family must become refugees and go by night to a foreign land. Joy at the birth of Christ is short-lived. The cross looms from the outset. He is a hunted child. Mary, Joseph, and Jesus must flee the wrath and brutal response of a cruel ruler who has been duped.
God intervened in a very direct and tangible way in the life of the Holy Family, in the light of the concrete plans He had in mind for them. We are not aware of it, but He intervenes in our lives in the same way and for the same reason.
King Herod was guilty of a heinous crime. Still, it was part of the plan of God. We recall our own smaller sins and take comfort in the fact that God is still in charge of everything.
Lord, you came into this world helpless and poor. You lived among the powerless and the needy and took their part. Make me alive to the sufferings of the needy, especially at this holiday season. Amen.
Donna DeMauro firstname.lastname@example.org
Prayer Concern - My heart goes out this Christmas time to all those who have lost children.