The Holy Innocents (Mt 2:13-15)
O Lord Jesus, I would love to shed my blood for you.
Picture Mary, Joseph and the Child fleeing into Egypt.
In Matthew’s gospel, Joseph is the central person in the infancy stories. God’s usual way of communicating with him is by an angel in his dreams. Historically, Herod was an insane man who killed many of his wives and relatives. The Church honors the children who are killed as martyrs. (The Holy Innocents). The text mentions a sobbing Rachel. She was Jacob’s wife, and two tribes named after her sons were slaughtered 700 years before Jesus.
Gospel Text: (Read slowly, possibly aloud.)
After the Magi departed, an angel of the Lord appeared to Joseph in sleep saying, “Arise and take the child and his mother and go to Egypt. Stay there until I tell you because Herod will seek to destroy the child.” He arose and took the child and his mother and went to Egypt until the death of Herod. Thus the word the Lord spoke to the prophet might be fulfilled, “Out of Egypt, I have called my Son.”
When Herod realized that he had been deceived by the Magi, he was exceedingly angry. He ordered that all the boys in Bethlehem and the surrounding regions who were two years old or less be killed. This was according to the time which he had learned from the Magi. What was said through the prophet Jeremiah was thus fulfilled, “A voice was heard in Rama, sobbing and loud lamentation. Rachel bewailing her children. There was no comfort for her because they were no more” (Jer. 31:15).
Thoughts: (Read all. Ponder those that attract you.)
- Joseph has great spiritual powers. He receives angelic messages that others would have missed.
- He stays in Egypt until he receives another message.
- Despite all the difficulties, he immediately obeys the angel’s message.
- How much we owe to Joseph. He spared Mary’s life when she was pregnant and saved Jesus’ life from Herod.
- The murder of these children are a shadow of Jesus’ cross.
- Because of his unchecked vices, Satan can use Herod as his instrument.
- Without knowing it, these children become Jesus’ disciples and share in his cross.
Affections: (When one touches your heart, use your own words.)
- O Lord, help me to hear your voice for my life.
- O Jesus, speak and I will listen. Guide me and I will follow.
- O Lord, protect me in a world filled with dangers.
- Keep me in your hiding place, O Lord. I love to be hidden in your hands.
- Destroy my plans and reveal your plans.
- Help me to avoid those whom Satan controls.
Resolutions: (Possibly you might want to make your own.)
- I will be sensitive this day to God’s promptings.
- I will not endanger my body or my soul, my human life or my eternal life.
Thought for the Day: (To recall your meditation.)
An angel of the Lord appeared to Joseph in his sleep.