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 and 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 as martyrs the children whom he killed. The text mentions Rachel, who was Jacob’s wife. Two tribes of Israel were named after her two sons. They were slaughtered 700 years before Jesus.
Gospel Text: (Read slowly, possibly aloud)
Thoughts: (Read all. Ponder those that attract you.)
- Joseph has great spiritual gifts. He receives angelic messages that others would have missed.
- Despite all the difficulties, he immediately obeys the angel’s message.
- He will stay in Egypt until he receives another message.
- How much we owe to Joseph. He spared Mary’s life when she was pregnant and saved Jesus’ life from Herod.
- By this slaughter, the shadow of the cross appears early in the gospel.
- Satan uses Herod to kill these children. Later, he will use Judas and Pilate to kill Jesus.
- 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 directions for my life.
- O Jesus, speak and I will listen. Guide me and I will follow.
- O Lord, protect me in a world so filled with dangers.
- Keep me in your hiding place, O Lord. I live to be hidden in your hands.
- O Jesus, I accept whatever suffering comes to me as your disciple.
- Destroy my plans for my life. 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.